November 15, 2010
BALTIMORE (November 15, 2010) — The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
(USCCB) affirmed by acclamation during their annual Fall General Assembly a
November 9 letter from Chicago Cardinal Francis George, OMI, USCCB president, to
President Obama regarding the recent violence against Christians in Iraq.
“The October 31 attack on the Syrian Catholic Cathedral in
Baghdad shocked and horrified the Catholic community and all people of
goodwill,” said Cardinal George in remarks to the bishops.
“As you’ve read in the press over the past week, there are continuing
attacks against innocent Iraqis, especially Christians. In the recent Synod on
the Middle East, the bishops from Iraq spoke of the perilous situation facing
Christians and other minorities in that country.”
Cardinal George said the
attack touched all of the bishops very closely.
in the priesthood, Father Thaer Saad and Father Boutros Wassim, were slain as
one celebrated mass and the other heard confessions,” he said. “Father Thaer
prayed and asked a terrorist to spare the lives of his parishioners before he
died. Father Raphael moved parishioners to a safer location in the Church and
was grievously wounded. Their Patriarch, His Beatitude Ignace Joseph III Younan,
who morns their murders and wounding, along with those of scores of innocent
worshipers killed and injured, is no stranger. He was formerly a member of our
Conference of Bishops before his consecration and enthronement as Patriarch of
Antioch of the Syrians last year.”
Cardinal George reiterated
what he said in his letter, that having invaded Iraq, the U.S. has a moral
obligation not to abandon Iraqis. For all these reasons, Cardinal George asked
that bishops make his letter their own.
The full text of the
letter can be found at: www.usccb.org/news/2010/10-203.cfm