Baghdad nuncio says stampede also a tragedy for Catholics

CLICK HERENews of the carnage that killed more than 1000 Iraqis fleeing a Shi'ite mosque has caused "a sense of shock" for the Catholics of Baghdad, who are spiritually united with the families of victims and all those who suffer.

Ferdinando Filoni told AsiaNews that althought it "cannot be thought of as an act of civil war", it is nevertheless :terrible that an event of public religious expression has become a drama for everyone".

The Catholic community is "close to those who suffer with their solidarity and prayers", he said.

For the Vatican nuncio, the massacre, with resulted from the unfounded news that two suicide bombers were about to blow themselves up in the Muslim shrine, was "some kind of disturbance could have been expected, as has already been the case in other religious occasions involving mass pilgrimages."

The nuncio speaks of having seen "women and youngsters who had been joyously pouring by all night and throughout the morning even here, in front of the Nunciature, on their way to the Al Kazimiyah Mosque, for their religious celebration."

He said he does not hold any great hope that the recently announced draft constitution will possibly be an instrument of peace among various Iraqi groups.

"One cannot think," he said, "that what was up until yesterday a stumbling block can become an instrument of peaceful coexistence. Problems and contradictions existed and will be brought forward."

Nuncio in Baghdad: mosque massacre, a tragedy for Catholics and Muslims (AsiaNews.it 31/8/05)

Panicked Shiite crowd stampedes in Baghdad causing 640 dead (AsiaNews.it 31/8/05)

1 Sep 2005