Pope approves the election of new archbishop of Mosul, Iraq

By Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — More than 20 months after the body of kidnapped Chaldean Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho of Mosul, Iraq, was recovered, Pope Benedict XVI approved the election of a new archbishop for the city.

The synod of bishops of the Chaldean Catholic Church elected Father Emil Shimoun Nona, an official of the Archdiocese of Alqosh, to succeed Archbishop Rahho.

Pope Benedict gave his consent to the election, the Vatican announced Nov. 13.

Archbishop Rahho was kidnapped Feb. 29, 2008, in an attack that left his driver and two bodyguards dead. Church leaders recovered the archbishop’s body two weeks later after the kidnappers told them where they had buried him.

Archbishop-elect Nona, who celebrated his 42nd birthday Nov. 1, was born in Alqosh, about 20 miles north of Mosul. After high school, he entered the Chaldean’s patriarchal seminary and was ordained to the priesthood in 1991 in Baghdad.

He served in an Alqosh parish until 2000 when he went to Rome to study theology at the Pontifical Lateran University. He returned to Alqosh in 2005, working in parishes, serving as an official of the Alqosh Archdiocese and, most recently, teaching anthropology at the Catholic-run Babel College.