Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Via Crucis of the Archbishop of Mosul of the Chaldeans

Sandro Magister uses the tragedy of the killing of Archbishop Rahho to highlight the ongoing developments in dialogue between the Catholic Church and Muslim leaders.
Many Iraqi Muslims have also joined in mourning for archbishop Rahho, who was widely admired, the promoter of joint initiatives between Christians and Muslims, like the "Fraternity of charity and joy" to assist people with handicaps. From the holy city of the Shiites, Karbala, the grand ayatollah Ali al-Sistani called for the capture of the guilty parties, unanimously thought to be members of al Qaeda or other radical Islamist groups.

Christians in Iraq and in other Muslim countries are increasingly surrounded and under attack, and "they are in danger of disappearing," as cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the congregation for the Oriental Churches, warned on March 15. Those who do resist emigrating literally risk their lives in some places.

It is against this dramatic background that dialogue between the Catholic Church and Islam is proceeding. An important step was made in this with the meeting that took place in Rome on March 4 and 5 between the pontifical council for interreligious dialogue and a delegation of the 138 Muslim scholars who signed the open letter "A Common Word" addressed to the pope and to other Christian leaders.
An interview with Cardinal Jean Luis Tauran follows.

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