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Iraqi Christians Consecrate Iraq To Queen of Peace

Iraqi Christians Consecrate Country to Mary, "Queen of Peace"


VATICAN CITY, MARCH 21, 2003 (Zenit.org).- This afternoon, different Christian Churches in Iraq will consecrate the country to the Virgin Mary.

The solemn act will take place at 6:00 p.m. in the Chaldean-rite Cathedral of St. Joseph in Baghdad, before a statue of the pilgrim Virgin, Queen of Peace, Vatican Radio confirmed.

For the past few days, the Christians of Baghdad have gathered to pray around the statue of the pilgrim Virgin, in many churches of the city. The statue has been on pilgrimage in Iraq since 1998. The announcement of the consecration was made on Sunday, March 16, in all the churches of the capital.

The act of consecration will be attended by representatives of the Catholic Church and of other Christian confessions.

The Chaldean Patriarchate will be represented by Bishop Shlemon Warduni and Bishop Emmanuel-Karim Delly; the Latin Catholic Church by Archbishop Jean Benjamin Sleiman; the Syrian Catholic Church by Archbishop Athanasius Matti Shaba Matoka; the Armenian Catholic Church by Archbishop Paul Coussa; the Syrian Orthodox Church by Archbishop Saverius Jamil Hawa; and the Assyrian Church by Archbishop Ghevargese Warda Daniel Sliwa.
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"The Worst Is Yet to Come," Says Archbishop Of Baghdad


BAGHDAD, MARCH 21, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Archbishop of Baghdad, Jean Benjamin Sleiman, described today the anguish of Iraqis over the war because "the people know the worst has yet to come."

Now "that the threat has become a reality, the population, though resigned, attempts to muster strength to deal with the situation," the archbishop of the Latin-rite Catholics explained to MISNA missionary agency.

As of yet, Baghdad still has water, electricity, and working telephone lines, although "the stores are closed and streets are practically deserted," he said.

"Many people have left; others remain barricaded in their homes or took the opportunity to visit with friends and relatives," the archbishop continued.

"It is a form of solidarity needed particularly in such moments," he acknowledged.
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Missionaries of Charity Remain with Orphanage in Baghdad


NEW DELHI, MARCH 21, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The Missionaries of Charity will stay in Baghdad so as not to abandon the city's orphaned children.

Sister Densy, local superior of the congregation, made this clear to Catholic agency UCA News ucanews.comfrom Baghdad as it braces for war. "These children need us, we must look after them," she stressed.

Three of the nuns in the convent are from India, the fourth is from Bangladesh.
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