Kidnapped Archbishop Dead
His kidnapping and death was widely and severely condemned by Muslims and others in Iraq as well as people around the world.
The Vatican Information Service reports:
Benedict XVI has sent a telegram to Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly, patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, Iraq, for the death of Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho of Mossul of the Chaldeans, Iraq, who was kidnapped on 29 February.
In his telegram the Pope expresses his closeness "to the Chaldean Church and to the entire Christian community", reaffirming his "condemnation for an act of inhuman violence which offends the dignity of human beings and seriously damages the cause of the fraternal coexistence of the beloved Iraqi people".
Benedict XVI gives assurances of his prayers for the archbishop "who was kidnapped just after he had completed the Way of the Cross" and invokes the Lord's mercy "that this tragic event may serve to build a future of peace in the martyred land of Iraq".
Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. also released the following declaration today:
"We had all continued to hope and pray for his release, something the Pope had requested on a number of occasions in his appeals.
"Unfortunately the most senseless and unjustified violence continues to be inflicted on the Iraqi people, and especially on the small Christian community to which the Pope and all of us are particularly close in prayer and solidarity at this moment of great suffering.
"It is to be hoped that this tragic event may once more - and more powerfully - underline the responsibility of everyone, and especially of the international community, for the pacification of so troubled a country".