Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Thursday, May 5, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Pacifica Senior Living - Calaroga Terrace

Home : News : Nation and World
7/7/2014 3:14:00 PM
Iraqi patriarch: Situation perhaps 'darkest and most difficult period'
Catholic News Service photo
A Christian family who fled from the violence in Mosul rests in a shelter June 27 in Irbil, Iraq. Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako of Baghdad said the city of Mosul
Catholic News Service photo
A Christian family who fled from the violence in Mosul rests in a shelter June 27 in Irbil, Iraq. Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako of Baghdad said the city of Mosul "is almost empty of Christians."
Catholic News Service


AMMAN, Jordan — The patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Baghdad called the current situation in his country "perhaps the darkest and most difficult period in (the church's) recent history."

In a telephone interview with Catholic News Service July 7, Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako also reiterated his appeal for the safe release of two nuns and three orphans believed kidnapped in the militant-held area of northern Iraq June 28.

He told CNS that there has been no word about the group's whereabouts or who may have abducted them, despite assurances of help from many quarters.

Patriarch Sako also said the city of Mosul "is almost empty of Christians."

"There are only about 200 (Christian) individuals that may be left there," he said. "The churches are closed. There was no Mass on Sunday. There are no priests."

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militants reportedly have occupied both Mosul's Chaldean Catholic and Syriac Orthodox cathedrals, removing the crosses at the front of the buildings and replacing them with the Islamic state's black flag.

Patriarch Sako compared the current situation for the church in his country to the biblical tale of when Jesus slept in the boat while the storm raged and his disciples were terrified, as recorded in the Gospel of St. Mark.

"Despite everything, we do not despair," he said. We are invited and pressed to awaken Christ, to take advantage of our faith and continue in a calm sea."

He urged the faithful to pray for the safe return of the group and for the future fate of all Christians in Iraq.

"I do believe, of course, that prayers can make miracles," he said.

The kidnapped Chaldean Daughters of Mary, Sister Miskintah and Sister Utoor, and three orphans went missing in Mosul, the first city to fall in June to militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, who have overrun vast swathes of territory across five Iraqi provinces north and west of the capital, Baghdad.

"Until now, we don't know who is behind the kidnapping and where they are," Patriarch Sako told CNS.

"We have contacted many people, including Muslim imams, sheiks, and private individuals. They have promised us that they are trying to find out something, but nothing has happened. They don't know. We've also asked the Kurds to look for them," he said, his voice full of concern and strain.

Kurdish fighters have promised to defend Christians and other minorities in northern Iraq against the recent onslaught of Islamist extremists.

Patriarch Sako said it was not clear whether the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant was involved in the abductions.

"We don't have exact details," he said. "The situation is very confusing. Nobody knows."

The group went missing around the time the militants shelled Christian villages outside of Mosul, including Qaraqosh, forcing more than 40,000 Christians to flee in terror, many with just the clothes on their backs. The majority of Qaraqosh's 40,000 inhabitants are Syriac Catholics.

The two sisters were responsible for managing an orphanage in a Christian neighborhood in Mosul. The orphans, two girls and a boy, have been identified as Hala Salim, Sarah Khoshaba, and Aram Sabah.

"We are asking for their release because they are innocent," Patriarch Sako told CNS.

"They have nothing to do with the policy or the situation taking place in Iraq. They are not party to these events," he said, referring to sectarian violence convulsing Iraq as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, aided by Sunni Muslim tribesman and Saddam Hussein loyalists, have declared an Islamic state or caliphate across vast stretches of Iraq and Syria.

"They (nuns) are innocent people helping people, doing good things for everybody: Christians and Muslims," he emphasized.

"We lived together side-by-side (with Muslims) for 14 centuries," the patriarch said. "We still want to communicate and live together."

But Iraq's Christian community has dwindled in the years following the U.S.-led invasion. Iraq's Christian community was estimated at 800,000 to 1.2 million people before the 2003 war that unleashed a wave of sectarian violence, but the current Christian population is thought to be less than half that number.

Many of those left had lived until recently in Ninevah province, of which Mosul is the capital.





Article Comment Submissions
Submit your comments, please. 
 
Comments are reviewed before being posted to the site. Comments must use respectful language and address the story. Comments are not posted immediately to the site. The site editor may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours. Comments may also be considered to appear as letters in our print edition, unless the writer specifices no.
 
Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   


Advanced Search













Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved