Whispers in the Loggia reports that on Oct. 31, at evening mass, Muslim vigilantes stormed a church dedicated to Our Lady of Salvation. Early reports say 39 hostages killed, with 56 more injured.
Vatican Radio: Emer McCarthy reports AUDIO
Pope Benedict XVI appeals at the All Saints Day Angelus:
Last evening, in a grave attack on the Syriac-Catholic cathedral of Baghdad, there were scores of deaths and injuries, among them two priests and a group of the faithful there for Sunday’s Holy Mass. I pray for the victims of this absurd violence, even more ferocious in that it has been inflicted upon defenseless people gathered in God’s house, which is a house of love and reconciliation. I express my affectionate closeness to the Christian community, now stricken again, and I encourage its pastors and faithful alike to be strong and firm in hope. Beyond these savage moments of violence, that continue to tear apart the peoples of the Middle East, I would lastly like to renew a heartfelt appeal for peace: it is a gift of God, but it is also the result of the efforts of men of good will, of national and international institutions. May everyone unite their strengths to end every act of violence!
Bishop Kevin Farrell writes:
This All Saints Day we not only commemorate those who have gone before us through the centuries, but we are vividly reminded that sainthood through martyrdom is not something of the ancient past. Yesterday more than 40 Syriac Catholics were martyred in Our Lady of Deliverance Cathedral in Bagdad where 120 Catholics had been taken hostage by Muslim extremists demanding release of Muslim women given sanctuary by a Coptic church in Egypt.