13 Mar 2008

Kidnapped Iraq archbishop's body found

Paulos Faraj Rahho, the Chaldean Catholic archbishop who was kidnapped in Iraq last month, has been found dead, church officials in Rome and Baghdad said today.

It was not clear if he died as a result of his precarious health or if he was killed, they added.

The Vatican said Pope Benedict was immediately informed and was "profoundly moved and saddened" by the news.

"Archbishop Rahho is dead. We found his lifeless body near Mosul. The kidnappers had buried him," Bishop Shlemon Warduni of Baghdad was quoted as telling SIR, the news agency of the Italian Bishops Conference.

Chaldean.jpgIt quoted Warduni as saying the kidnappers had told Iraqi church officials yesterday that Rahho was very ill and, later yesterday, that he was dead.

The Chaldean patriarch of Baghdad, Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly, confirmed the news. "Yes he died," he told Reuters in Baghdad.

Rahho was seized on 29 February after gunmen attacked his car in eastern Mosul, 240 miles north of Baghdad, killing his driver and two guards.

Kidnapped Iraq archbishop's body found - Middle East, World - Independent.co.uk

Also see The Chaldean Voice