Thursday, March 13, 2008

Cold comfort from the church and state.

More about the heinous kidnapping and murder of the Iraqi Archbishop.

The body of Paulos Faraj Rahho, the Chaldean Catholic Archbishop of Mosul, was found in a shallow grave in the city after a tip-off from his captors.

Pope Benedict XVI said he was deeply moved and saddened, calling the death an act of inhuman violence.

Iraqi PM Nouri Maliki said it was a horrible crime aimed at stirring strife between Iraq's religious communities.

Shia and Sunni Muslim leaders have expressed their condemnation, while US President George W Bush branded it a "despicable act of violence".

Iraqi police say the condition of the archbishop's body, which bore no bullet wounds, suggests he may have died at least a week ago.

According to the SIR Catholic news agency, the kidnappers told Iraqi church officials on Wednesday that Archbishop Rahho was very ill and, later on the same day, that he was dead.

It is not clear whether he was killed, or died of natural causes. Nobody has claimed responsibility for his death.

The archbishop's body was found by church workers who went to the area after being contacted by the kidnappers.

True to form, the BBC blames George W Bush for the attacks:

The 65-year-old archbishop was the latest in a long line of Chaldean clerics to be abducted in Iraq since the US-led invasion in March 2003.

Many Christians in Iraq have left due to insurgent attacks

The Chaldean bishop of Baghdad, Shlemon Warduni, said: "I cry for Iraq, I have no other feelings. We were brothers."

A Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, said: "The most absurd and unjustified violence continues to afflict the Iraqi people and in particular the small Christian community, whom the Pope holds in his prayers in this time of deep sadness."

The BBC's Hugh Sykes in Baghdad says centuries of peaceful coexistence between Muslims and the small Christian community in Iraq were shattered by the US-led invasion of 2003.

Fundamentalists linked Christians with an occupation force they regarded as "crusaders", and numerous Christians and their business have been attacked, he says.

The Chaldeans are the largest sect within Iraq's Christian community, which was estimated at 800,000 before the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

And so does a Chaldean bishop based out of Southfield Michigan.

How insane is this? Instead of blaming the perpetrators of the violence...