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Violence Should not Call for more Violence, Says Chaldean Bishop
By Huda Metti :: Tuesday, May 20, 2008 :: 39901 Views :: Religion & Spirituality, Law & Order, Government & Society

Baghdad, IRAQ – "Violence should not call for more violence! We are on the side of justice, not the death penalty,” Chaldean Bishop Warduni affirmed from Iraq.  "If he were still alive, Archbishop Rahho himself would not permit that someone would die for him.”

Contentions rise high as Chaldeans call on the Iraqi government to spare the life of the man convicted of killing the Archbishop on February, 29 outside of a church.  The Archbishop was leading the Way of the Cross during Lent when Ahmad Ali Ahmad, a ilitant from al-Qaida, led a group to abduct the Archibishop and kill his sub deacons. 

Chaldean Auxiliary Bishop Shlemon Warduni of Baghdad said, "Let us recall that the principles that have always inspired the Church are forgiveness and reconciliation."

Bishop Warduni was the representative of the Church who tried to contact the kidnappers after they abducted Archbishop Rahho.  For days there was no news from the archbishop or his kidnappers. Finally, after a phone call from the assailants, the archbishop's body was found March 13 in a shallow grave. He was 65.

Other Iraqi bishops have made similar public declarations calling on the Iraqi government to not answer violence with violence. 

"We are in favor of justice, but not of capital punishment," said Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk. Bishop Shlemon Warduni, an auxiliary in Baghdad, agreed, saying that Archbishop Raho was totally dedicated to reconciliation and peace rather than further bloodshed.

On Sunday, it was announced by the Iraqi government spokesman, Ali al-Dabbagh. that Ahmad Ali Ahmad (A.KA Abu Omar) would be condemned to death for involvement in the crime. No date has been given for his execution. 

Questions still remain as to the motive, directive, and intent of the killing of the Archbishop.  The Iraqi government eagerly looking forward to move beyond the assassination and demonstrate a semblance of law and order. 

Clearly demonstrating the tenants of their faith, the Chaldean church continues to reaffirm its stance, at great risk to themselves, that peace and love of one another is the only answer.

Mar Addai Church, MI USA

Mar Addai Chaldean Catholic Church
24010 Coolidge Hwy.
Oak Park, MI 48237
Tel: (248) 547-4648
Fax: (248) 399-9089

Congregation Organizer:
Rev. Michael J. Bazzi

Church Founding Pastor:
Rev. Stephen Kallabat

Current Pastor:
Rev. Stephan Kallabat

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Fadi Habib Khalaf

Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Sulemina Denha
 


 

Rev. Stephen Kallabat


Fr. Stephan Kallabat was born in Telkaif, Iraq.  After completing seven years of scholarly work for the priesthood in Mosul, Iraq Fr. Kallabat was accepted at the prestigious university in Rome.  There he spent six additional years of scholarly work in the areas of philosophy and theology and an additional four years in scriptural studies. 

Ordained a priest in 1966 by Pope Paul VI he returned to Iraq to serve the Holy Family parish until his departure to Michigan, U.S. in 1979 to serve the growing population of Chaldeans.  Fr. Kallabat was appointed assistant pastor, then pastor of Mar Addai Parish in Oak Park, Michigan. 

Hitting the ground running, Fr. Kallabat is credited with raising the necessary funds to provide Chaldeans in the local area a church and community center of their own.  Fr. Kallabat continues to serve the parish and Chaldean community as their pastor.   

Rev. Fadi Habib Khalaf

Fr. Fadi Habib Khalaf was born in Baghdad May 10, 1974.  Fr. Khalaf graduated from Baghdad University in 1997 and soon after joined the Chaldean seminary in Baghdad.  While there Fr. Khalaf earned a scholarship to attend the Urbanian Pontifical University in Rome.  There he earned another bachelor’s degree in theology and was ordained deacon in Rome on May 8, 2004. 

Fr. Khalaf then returned to Baghdad where he was officially ordained as a priest.  Afterward Fr. Khalaf returned to Rome to further his studies.  In 2006 Fr. Khalaf was appointed to serve Chaldeans in the United States.  

In the summer of 2006 he arrived to the Chaldean diocese of St. Thomas the Apostle and was cardinated into the Diocese and elected to serve at Mar Addai parish on March 15, 2007 as the Parochial Vicar.

Rev. Suleiman Denha

Rev. Suleiman Denha was born in Telkaif, Iraq.  He began his priestly studies in 1951 in Mosul, Iraq and was ordained in 1959.  Fr. Denha taught in Telkaif until 1961, when he was appointed pastor in Basra, Iraq in 1966. 

After immigrating to the Unite States in 1979, he was appointed to serve the Chaldean community in Virginia.  A year later, Fr. Denha was recruited to assist the much larger population of Chaldeans in Detroit. 

Upon his arrival Fr. Denha assisted Fr. Yasso at Sacred Heart Church.  In 1982 he was asked to temporally assist St. Joseph Church in Troy, returning a year later Sacred Heart. 

In 1991, he was appointed to Mar Addai Church in Oak Park, Michigan as the Parochial Vicar, where he still serves the community today.