Sunday, March 16, 2008


Pope: Enough With Slaughters in Iraq

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI issued one of his strongest appeals for peace in Iraq on Sunday, days after the body of the kidnapped Chaldean Catholic archbishop was found near the northern city of Mosul.

The pope also denounced the 5-year-long Iraq war, saying it had provoked the complete breakup of Iraqi civilian life.

"Enough with the slaughters. Enough with the violence. Enough with the hatred in Iraq!" Benedict said to applause at the end of his Palm Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Square.
On Thursday, the body of Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho was found near Mosul. He had been abducted on Feb. 29.

Benedict has called Rahho's death an "inhuman act of violence" that offended human dignity.
On Sunday, Benedict praised Rahho for his loyalty to Christ and his refusal to abandon his flock despite many threats and difficulties.

He recalled Rahho's death as the Catholic Church opens Holy Week, the most solemn week in the liturgical calendar in which the faithful recall the suffering and death of Jesus Christ.
Benedict said Rahho's dedication to the Catholic Church and his death compelled him to "raise a strong and sorrowful cry" to denounce the violence in Iraq spawned by the war that began five years ago this week.

"At the same time, I make an appeal to the Iraqi people, who for the past five years have borne the consequences of a war that provoked the breakup of their civil and social life," Benedict said.
He urged them to raise their heads and reconstruct their life through "reconciliation, forgiveness, justice and coexistence among tribal, ethnic and religious groups."

The Vatican strongly opposed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. In its aftermath, Benedict has frequently criticized attacks against Iraqi Christians by Islamic extremists. Last year, he urged President Bush to keep the safety of Iraqi Christians in mind.

Benedict is due to preside over a memorial service at the Vatican on Monday in honor of Rahho. Typically, the pope only presides over such services when a cardinal dies.

The pontiff's appeal for peace came at the end of his Palm Sunday Mass, which opens the Church's busy Holy Week celebrations. They include the Good Friday re-enactment of Christ's crucifixion and death and the celebration of Christ's resurrection on Easter Sunday.

At the start of Mass, Benedict blessed palms and olive branches with holy water and then processed through St. Peter's Square, wearing intricate, red- and gold-brocaded vestments and clutching a woven palm frond.


Anonymous said...

I am concerned that Obama's church is not catholic (with a small "c"). I know nothing about Hillary's religious affiliation. In any case, I think this issue deserves discussion on your blog.

Katherine said...

Good question.

Senator Clinton is a life-long member of the United Methodist Church and quite active in her faith. Senator Obama is an adult convert (from non-religion) to the United Church of Christ (the successor to the Congregationalist Church, the faith of the Pilgrims and Puritans).

The links below are for the products of the official dialogue between the Catholic Church and the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (which the UCC is a member).

Matt said...

Obama attended regularly at his church for 20 years, but apparently never heard any sermons from his pastor, the reverend Wright.

God Bless,


Katherine said...

Dear Matt --

See the Easter Tuesday post, which reads in part, quoting Senator Obama:

"Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes. Did I strongly disagree with many of his political views? Absolutely -- just as I'm sure many of you have heard remarks from your pastors, priests, or rabbis with which you strongly disagreed."