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Iraqi archbishop: handover offers hope to silent majority

The Catholic Archbishop of Baghdad, Msgr Jean Benjamin Sleiman, said yesterday's surprise early handover of powers by the US provisional authority administrator Paul Bremer to the Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi, offers hope to the country's silent majority.

"The people have the sensation of having regained possession of their nation," he told the Missionary News Service. "Before there was not really the sense of being subdued by an enemy force, but rather a feeling with extreme sufferance of a void of power and institutions."

Monsignor Sleiman (pictured) is a Discalced Carmelite. He said he feels the majority of Iraqis support the new government.

While the ongoing resistance could not be overlooked, he said: "There are a multitude of silent Iraqis laboriously attempting to rebuild their lives who believe in the possibility of reviving the nation and look to the United Nations and international community for help.

"These people have lived through extremely dramatic situations and each step forward, whether small or large, brings with it hope."

Iraqi archbishop: handover offers hope to silent majority (Independent Catholic News/MISNA 28/6/04)

Bush, Blair Confident of a Free Iraq (The 28/6/04)
Violence continues in post-handover Iraq ( 28/6/04)
Coalitiion Provisional Authority
Churches turn fire on interrogation techniques of US and others (Ekklesia 25/6/04)
Christian aid fuel suspicion over Iraq (Ekklesia 28/6/04)
Top Vatican official hails transfer of power in Iraq (Catholic News Service 28/6/04)
Profile on Archbishop Louis Sako, the Archbishop of Kirkuk in Iraq (Aid to the Church in Need 28/6/04)
For Iraqi girls, fear and few options (International Herald-Tribune 28/6/04)
Chaldean Catholic Church attacked in Northern Iraq (Catholic News Agency 28/6/04)
Bishop explains change of heart on Iraq war (Green Left 30/6/04)
Handover of powers, Archbishop of Baghdad: "hope returns for silent Iraqis" (MISNA 28/6/04)

29 Jun 2004