Cardinal Leonardo Sandri of the Congregation for Oriental Churches celebrated a Mass in memory of the slain Monsignor Faraj Rahho of Iraq. While he was “taken by violent hands and hearts, he sowed the word of God”, said Sandri.
Almost a month after Mgr Faraj Rahho, Chaldean bishop of Mosul, was found dead, a prayer in memory of his soul and for the victims of the war in Iraq was held in the Vatican. This morning Card Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, celebrated a Mass in the Vatican Basilica to remember the slain prelate, â€œtaken by violent hands and hearts, he sowed the words of God.â€ Hope now lies in â€œthe harvest that is comingâ€ so that his death â€œmay give rise to peace at all levels and rouse the Chaldean Church as a whole, its bishops, priests and faithful.â€
The Eucharistic celebration, over which Cardinal Sandri presided, was co-celebrated by Card Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, and Card. Bernard Francis Law.
The lifeless body of Monsignor Rahho was found last 13 March in a dump, 14 days after he was abducted.
However, â€œthe truth about his kidnapping and death remains quite unclear,â€ Mgr Rabban al-Qas, Chaldean bishop of Amadiyah, told AsiaNews.
â€œLike all Iraqis Christians are living a moment of great fear after the outbreaks of violence between Shia militias and the army in the south and in Baghdad. In Mosul it is even worse because here the central authorities are practically non-existent.â€
â€œThe latest episodes of violence, the two car bombs that blew up on Tuesday, left 12 people dead, mostly policemen, near the Dominican church which itself suffered serious damages,â€ he added.
Hope in a possible future lies increasingly in the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan. Here in the diocese of Amadiyah a new church dedicated to Saint Joseph will be inaugurated on 1 May in the recently rebuilt Christian village of, Ramta.
â€œWe are going to observe International Workers’ Day as we celebrate Saint Joseph for the first time,â€ he said.