Chaldean Church mediating in release of Iraq hostages
Baghdad Auxiliary Bishop Shlemon Warduni says the Chaldean Church is trying to mediate in the release of the three Italian hostages who remain after the last week's killing of fellow hostage Fabrizio Quattrocchi.
"The patriarch, the patriarchate and I myself are trying to do something to rescue the hostages, which has nothing to do with the drama of the war," the bishop told Vatican Radio yesterday.
"But things are going very slowly," he said. "For the time being we can say nothing ... [as] it would damage the situation."
There is no clear information on the identity of the group that kidnapped the civilians, who worked for a US security firm.
Last Friday, Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, expressed the Holy See's willingness to mediate in favour of all those kidnapped in Iraq, should those involved request it.
About 70% of the Christians in Iraq, some 800,000, are part of the Chaldean Church.
Meanwhile the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano has insisted that the world cannot be satisfied with simply rhetorical condemnations of the latest terrorists bombings in Iraq.
It said the world is "generally moved to emotional reactions only when the atrocities and cruelties take on tragic dimensions".
The newspaper's comment was prompted by the this week's bombings in Basra, which killed 73 people, including 17 children, and left at least 100 other injured.
The wave of public outrage after the car-bombings, the Vatican newspaper said, should not be allowed to "evaporate in oratory".
Chaldean Church Hopes to Mediate Release of Hostages in Iraq (Zenit 21/4/04)
Vatican seeks action, not rhetoric, for peace in Iraq (Catholic World News 22/4/04)
Caritas Remaining on Front Line of Aid in Iraq (Zenit 21/4/04)
Caritas continues its presence in Iraq (CathNews 19/4/04)
Pope appeals for hostages' release (CNN 18/4/04)
Cardinal: Vatican ready to mediate in Iraq (BigNewsNetwork.com 18/4/04)
Vatican ready to mediate in Iraq? (Catholic World News 16/4/04)
Vatican calls hostage killing 'inhumane act,' decries rising violence (Catholic News Service 16/4/04)
Papal nuncio gives grim report from Iraq (CathNews 16/4/04)
23 Apr 2004