The Pope is at one with Iraqi Christians touched by attacks in Baghdad
Vatican City, Jan. 10, 2008 (www.vaticans.org) The Pope is at one with Iraqi Christians touched by attacks in Baghdad, Mosul and Kirkuk, which for him are attacks against the whole people of Iraq. He therefore calls upon those who perpetrated such acts of violence to stop and forsake them.
In a telegram signed by the Vatican Secretary of State, Card Tarcisio Bertone, that was sent to the Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, Card Emmanuel III Delly, the Holy Father said that he was urging all those in authority to renew efforts towards peaceful negotiation aimed at a just resolution of the country's difficulties, respectful of the rights of all.
Deeply concerned to learn of the attacks on Christian targets in Baghdad, Mosul, and Kirkuk which took place last Sunday and yesterday, read the message, the Holy Father expresses his spiritual closeness to the injured and their families. To Your Eminent Beatitude, as President of the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Iraq, and to the Archbishops of the cities concerned, he offers fraternal assurances of prayer as you seek to offer hope and strength to your people. He asks you, moreover, to convey his heartfelt solidarity to the superiors of the religious communities affected by these attacks, and to renew his sentiments of sincere solidarity with all members of the Christian communities in Iraq, Catholic and non-Catholic alike.
Mindful that such attacks are also directed against the whole people of Iraq, the telegram adds that His Holiness appeals to the perpetrators to renounce the ways of violence, which have caused so much suffering to the civilian population, and he encourages all those in authority to renew efforts towards peaceful negotiation aimed at a just resolution of the country's difficulties, respectful of the rights of all. Praying for a return to the peaceful coexistence of the diverse groups that make up the population of this beloved country, the Holy Father commends all the people of Iraq to the heavenly protection of our almighty and merciful Father.