Patriarch Urges Protection in Iraq

Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III Younan, a Syrian Catholic, called on the Iraqi government to ensure the safety of all Iraqi citizens, especially Christians, “who are defenseless, honest and peaceful people.” In his homily at a memorial Mass in Baghdad on Dec. 10 that venerated the “46 new martyrs” of the Syrian Catholic Church killed in a terrorist siege on Oct. 31, the patriarch said the presence of government officials at the liturgy “helped to inspire some trust and feelings of some protection” for the faithful. The patriarch said: “It is the responsibility of the Iraqi government to carry out proper and thorough investigations to uncover the terrorist groups who did plan and finance the carnage...and to bring them publicly to justice…. We need deeds and not just…promises.”

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