Hope and Reconciliation Pictured in Iraq
Michael Yon captured this image of hope and reconciliation in Iraq recently.
Thanks and Praise
Thanks and Praise: I photographed men and women, both Christians and Muslims, placing a cross atop the St. John’s Church in Baghdad. They had taken the cross from storage and a man washed it before carrying it up to the dome.
Michael Yon writes:
A Muslim man had invited the American soldiers from “Chosen” Company 2-12 Cavalry to the church, where I videotaped as Muslims and Christians worked and rejoiced at the reopening of St John’s, an occasion all viewed as a sign of hope.
The Iraqis asked me to convey a message of thanks to the American people. ” Thank you, thank you,” the people were saying. One man said, “Thank you for peace.” Another man, a Muslim, said “All the people, all the people in Iraq, Muslim and Christian, is brother.” The men and women were holding bells, and for the first time in memory freedom rang over the ravaged land between two rivers. (Videotape to follow.)
Jules Crittenden calls this the Iraqi “Iwo” moment.
During the mass, Shiite Muslim leader Ammar al-Hakim, son of the head of Iraq’s most powerful Shiite political organization, walked into the church. Father Louis al-Shabi, the chief priest at St. Joseph, escorted al-Hakim to a seat near the alter.
“Sheik al-Hakim came to join us in our celebrations as we mark this feast,” al-Shabi told the worshippers. “We welcome this visit as a display of unity among the Iraqi people.”
Al-Hakim responded, “We are all the sons of Iraq, and we should put our hands together to build this country. We are confident that the Iraqi people will come out of this crisis and our pain will end.”
Later this month… Pope Benedictus will appoint a new Cardinal of Baghdad.
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)
Reader BG added this: Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki congratulated Patriarch Emmanuel Delly III, head of the Chaldean Church in Iraq on his appointment by the Pope in an October statement.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki also 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 October 27.