26 Injured Iraqis Hospitalized in Rome’s Polyclinic

Survivors Give Testimony of Faith and Courage
 On Friday, Rome’s Gemelli Polyclinic accepted 26 injured survivors of the Oct. 31 massacre in Baghdad’s Syrian Catholic Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

The wounded include 16 women, three children and seven men — transferred by plane from Baghdad together with 21 relatives.

The attack left 58 dead and more than 100 wounded. France has already welcomed over 70 of the injured Iraqis for hospital care.

The Rome hospitalization was organized by the Italian foreign affairs ministry in collaboration with the polyclinic, at the specific invitation of Benedict XVI’s secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

According to a note from the polyclinic’s press office, the wounded are almost all in fair condition and are being cared for by a multi-disciplinary task force provided by the management of highest emergencies. The relatives of the injured are staying in a structure adjacent to the hospital made available by the affiliated University of the Sacred Heart.

In statements on the blog “Baghdadhope” Father Ameer Gammo, one of the Iraqi priests and seminarians who visited the wounded, said: “They are persons wounded in body and soul who still don’t know how to express their pain.

“Too little time has passed and the pain, the real pain that torments the soul, will fall on them perhaps in a few months time.

“However, even if it seems impossible, they have given me courage. They have given courage and comfort to all of us priests and seminarians who met with them today.”