Pope reaffirms solidarity with Iraqi Christians

Iraqi Christians have received a "holy telegram" from the Vatican expressing solidarity in light of the recent spate of violent attacks on Christian targets earlier this month.

Fides news service reports Pope Benedict sent a message to Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly, Patriarch of Babylon,(pictured) saying he was "deeply concerned" after Christian communities were attacked in Baghdad, Mosul and Kirkuk on 6 and 9 January.

The telegram stated the Pope expressed his "spiritual closeness to the injured and their families" and "offers fraternal assurances of prayer as you seek to offer hope and strength to your people."

"He (Pope Benedict) asks you, moreover, to convey his heartfelt solidarity to the superiors of the religious communities affected by these attacks, and to renew his sentiments of sincere solidarity with all members of the Christian communities in Iraq, catholic and non-Catholic alike," the telegram stated.

"His Holiness appeals to the perpetrators to renounce the ways of violence, which have caused so much suffering to the civilian population, and he encourages all those in authority to renew efforts towards peaceful negotiation aimed at a just resolution."

Pope sends message of solidarity to Christians in Iraq, (Independent Catholic News 14/01/08)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Cardinal Delly (Catholic Hierachy)
Cardinal Delly (Wikipedia)

Pope supports Iraqi bishops' call for fasting, prayer for peace (CathNews 04/04/06)
Pope urges 23 new cardinals to work for peace (CathNews 26/11/07)

15 Jan 2008