Earlier today, newly-elevated Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly celebrated a Mass with more than 200 Iraqi Christians at Baghdad’s Church of the Virgin Mary:
Delly presided over other services this week in Baghdad and the northern Kurdish city of Irbil, spreading his message of unity and forgiveness among Iraq’s Christians.
“We are of one family, everyone should work for the progress of this country,” he said during his sermon. “We pray today for the sake of each other and to forgive each other, as well to be directed to do good deeds. That is my demand for the Iraqis, moreover I urge the return home for displaced people and immigrants to their ancestral land.”
The imam of a nearby Shiite mosque shook hands with him in the church’s courtyard after the service.
“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.”
A good deal of this century’s history will turn on the conflict between that sentiment and this one.
SCOTT adds: This story adds weight to Nathaniel Rabkin’s important Weekly Standard article “Who speaks for Iraqi Shiites?”
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