Baghdad Cardinal Celebrates First Sunday Mass in Iraq
“I am praying for the Iraqis and wish that peace, love and brotherhood unite them into one Iraqi family.”
Iraqi Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly
December 7, 2007
The Sunday mass was broadcast live on Iraqi television.
Vatican Ambassador to Iraq Francis Joulikat, second, from left, Iraqi Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly, second from right, and Archbishop Shilaymon Wardoni, right, cut a cake after a mass celebrated at the Miriam Church in Palestine Street in east Baghdad, Iraq, on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2007. Delly was elevated to Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI last month. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)
Prelate Emmanuel III Delly has held his first mass since being made a cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI, drawing an overflowing crowd to a small church in northern Iraq.
Worshippers greeted him with applause and chanting when he entered the Mar Yusef (Saint Joseph) church in the Christian town of Ainkawa near Arbil, capital of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region, late on Wednesday.
“Pope Benedict XVI told me that he is praying for Iraq. He said to me, ‘I am praying for the Iraqis and wish that peace, love and brotherhood unite them into one Iraqi family’,” he added.
On Sunday in Baghdad, Cardinal Delly celebrated his first home mass that was broadcast on Iraqi television.
The AP reported:
…Sunday’s Mass was a joyful one for more than 200 Iraqis who packed a church in eastern Baghdad to see the first Iraqi cardinal.
Under heavy guard and broadcast live on Iraqi state television, the service was capped by a handshake from a visiting Shiite imam — a symbolic show of unity between Iraq’s majority Muslim sect and its tiny Christian community.
Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly, leader of the ancient Chaldean Church, celebrated the two-hour Mass three weeks after Pope Benedict XVI elevated him to the top ranks of the Roman Catholic hierarchy.
…”I came here to show the unity of the Iraqi people,” said the black-turbaned imam, Jassim al-Jazairi. “We are happy with the cardinal. We are very proud of any person, whether Christian or Muslim, who raises the name of Iraq in the international arena.”
Scott at Powerline also reported on this historic occasion.
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