Iraqi Bishop Appeals for Peace
All Are To Blame, Says Auxiliary Shlemon Warduni
VATICAN CITY, JAN. 9, 2003 (Zenit.org).-
A prelate of the Patriarchate of Babylon of the Chaldeans made a moving
appeal for peace in face of the threat of a military attack on
Iraq, his country.
"I appeal to the whole world, to all men of good will, to join the
Pope in praying for peace," Auxiliary Bishop Shlemon Warduni said today
in statements broadcast by Vatican Radio. "And we pray that this peace
will descend from the omnipotence of God," he said. "We ask for it with
the strength of our faith, of our prayers,
of our love. Thank you and pray for us. Do not forget us." Bishop Warduni continued: "We do not understand this war. It is a
threat to our children, our elderly, our sick, our young people, who
for 12 years have known nothing about their future. Where is freedom? Where is Christian charity?"
"We ask to live like men, we do not ask for anything
extraordinary," he added. "Why do they have to come here? Because we
have oil? Let them take the oil but leave us in peace. Because Iraq is
rich? But this
wealth comes from God, not from ourselves. What is our fault?"
To those who are aware of the Iraqi government's grave
responsibilities, Bishop Warduni explained: "All are to blame. All have
caused the past wars and this one, which is about to be verified. How can we define it as a just war? "
"The Church in Iraq has done and always will do everything possible
so that peace will prevail. With this objective, together with other
Christians present in Iraq, we fasted and prayed for a day. For the
first time, we were all together: Catholics, Orthodox." That event Nov.
29 ended with a joint appeal by Catholic and Orthodox bishops for the
world to avoid war in Iraq. "We base ourselves on the principles of
peace of the Gospel," the bishop clarified.
Christians comprise 3% of Iraq's population, about 670,000.
Three-quarters of the Christians are Catholics, the majority of the