Pope Benedict XVI Establishes Cardinal of Baghdad

Baghdad will have its own Cardinal after a Papal Ceremony planned for November 24th.

Newly elected Chaldean Patriarch Emmanuel III Delly of Baghdad, right, waits with unidentified clergy for the inaugural Mass at St. Joseph’s Chaldean church in Baghdad in this Sunday, Dec. 21, 2003 file photo. The Chaldean Church is loyal to the pope but does not follow the Roman church’s Latin Rite. Patriarch Emmanuel III Delly is one of the 23 new cardinals the pontiff will elevate in a solemn ceremony next Nov. 24. The pope named Wednesday, Oct.17, 2007, 23 new cardinals, tapping the Chaldean patriarch of Baghdad, two Americans and archbishops from four continents to join the elite ranks of the ‘princes’ of the Roman Catholic Church. Eighteen of the 23 are under age 80 and thus eligible to vote in a conclave to elect a future pontiff. (AP Photo/Dusan Vranic)

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki promised to protect and support the vulnerable Christian community in Iraq in a meeting with the Chaldean patriarch of Baghdad, Emmanuel III Delly, on Saturday.
Persecution Blog and the AP reported:

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s prime minister pledged Saturday to protect and support the Christian minority that has been fleeing the chaos and sectarian violence in the country.

After receiving the Chaldean patriarch of Baghdad, Emmanuel III Delly, Nouri al-Maliki affirmed his government’s readiness and determination to defend the small community and to stop the outflow of Iraqi Christians, according to a statement released by al-Maliki’s office.

Delly, who is the head of Chaldean Church in Iraq and spiritual leader to all Chaldeans, has been outspoken about the need to protect minority Christians from Iraq’s spiraling violence.

Earlier this month, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Delly a cardinal, when he named 23 new “princes” of the Roman Catholic Church.

The Christian community here, about 3 percent of the country’s 26 million people, is particularly vulnerable, and has little political or military clout to defend itself.

Since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, Iraqi Christians, who are mostly Chaldeans, have been targeted by Islamic extremists who label them “crusaders” loyal to U.S. troops.

Churches, priests and business owned by Christians have been attacked by Islamic militants.

Seeking better and safer life, about 50 percent of Iraq’s Christians are thought to have left the country

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