IRAQ'S CHRISTIAN LEADERS PLEAD FOR PEACE
The Christian leaders of Iraq-- Catholic and Orthodox-- have joined in a call for an end to the US-led military campaign against their country.
"United with our Muslim brothers, we ask everyone to relay our urgent appeal for an end to the war," the Christian leaders said in a joint statement released on Thursday.
In an interview broadcast by Vatican Radio, Bishop Shlemon Warduni, an auxiliary of the Chaldean Catholic Patriarchate of Baghdad, said that the situation in the Iraqi capital "is more atrocious every day." Charging that the US military campaign was violating human rights, Bishop Warduni said: "This is an atrocious situation of war, which knows no mercy, no heart, no Christian charity."
April 02, 2003
Dear Friend in Christ, Prince of Peace:
On the evening of Thursday, March 27, at 5:45 pm (Italy), a desperate
appeal from Baghdad was received at the offices of Radiotelepace, a
television station of the Diocese of Chiavari in Liguori, Italy.
As neither fax nor computer were any longer available, the text of this
urgent appeal was dictated over the phone from the home of the Most
Rev. Shlemon Warduni, Auxiliary Bishop of Baghdad of the Chaldeans, using
one of the few telephone lines still working in the city.
Although this text was released by Zenit.org in French, German, and
Portuguese on the following day, March 28, as of this date (April 1) to
our knowledge it has not yet appeared anywhere in English.
We wish to signal our grateful acknowledgement to Radiotelepace, the
original source of this text, for making it available to us in the
Please give this English version as wide a circulation as possible!
in the union of prayers,
William R. Marra
to the news media
Appeal of the Leaders of the Christian Churches in Iraq
We, the leaders of the Christian Churches in Iraq, in these difficult and
terrible days which cross our country, Iraq, put forth from the depths of
our hearts, in union with all men of good will, and with those who love
peace, an appeal to those responsible, so that they listen to the voice of
God, Who commands love, brotherhood and pardon to His children, so that
they not be the cause of destruction, of bloodshed, of an increase in
orphans, of handicapped, and of widows, only to arrive at their own
personal and egoistic interests.
May those responsible for this aggression of the Iraqi people listen to
the tears of children, the cry of suffering mothers and fathers and the
despair of girls and women, may they heed the suffering of all the Iraqis
due to the lack of medicine and of everything necessary for life, and may
they cease sending missiles and destructive bombs, and may they sit down
instead at the table for dialogue; may they be able to ask the Lord for
the light to follow heavenly principles, the rights of man, and moral and
human values; may they know how to judge reasonably, to find the ways
which would guarantee the immediate cessation of the war, so that a
lasting and desired peace be realized; there are still so many ways and
many means to arrive at a solution of the world problems through dialogue
and understanding, so that all may live a tranquil and peaceful life.
We, the leaders of the Christian Churches, together with our Muslim
brothers in Iraq, where we have lived together with love and fraternal
charity for hundreds of years in this peaceful country, thank all those
who work to stop the aggression against us, and especially the Holy Father
John Paul II, and we ask to continue prayer and assiduous work to
influence those in whose hands lies the decision to cease this unjust
aggression on our tormented people. This aggression causes the death of
children, of the elderly, of women, of the sick; and our youth on the
front are left to defend their country with loyalty.
The Heads of the Christian Churches in Iraq
National Coalition of Clergy & Laity
528 North New Street #2
Bethlehem, PA 18018-5715
tel : (610) 882-3124
FAX : (610) 882-3125