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Violence Should not Call for more Violence, Says Chaldean Bishop
By Huda Metti :: Tuesday, May 20, 2008 :: 63962 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.

Sacred Heart Parish, MI USA

 

Sacred Heart Parish
310 W. Seven Mile. Rd.
Detroit, MI 48203
Tel: (313) 368-6214
Fax: (313) 891-0132

The parish was established by Rev. Jacob Yasso in 1973

Rev. Jacob Yasso

Rev. Jacob Yasso was born in the village of Telkaif, Iraq.  After completing high school he was recruited to Rome and Urbaniana University where he completed his Masters Degree in philosophy and Theology.  Fr. Yasso was ordained a priest in 1960 and served the Diocese of Mosul, where he worked in the public school system. Fr. Yasso was also asked by the Patriarch to teach at the Patriarchal Seminary in Baghdad, where he served as administrator, professor of philosophy and religious life, and rector of the minor seminary. 

In 1964, Fr. Yasso was appointed to the United States to serve the growing Chaldean community in Detroit.  There he served as the 4th Pastor of Mother of God Parish.  .  In 1972, the Patriarch charged Fr. Yasso with building a new parish for the Chaldeans in Detroit.  In taking great pains to care for the community Fr. Yasso accelerated the development of a new church and community center.  In 1975, Fr. Yasso completed the development of Sacred Heart Parish in Detroit and shortly thereafter he added the Chaldean Center of America in 1980, 

A few years later in 1982, Fr. Yasso was asked to assist the late Fr. Kattoula at St. Peter’s Church in San Diego, CA.  Before long, Fr. Yasso was once again recruited to Rome to study new Canon Law of the Church.  While in Rome Fr. Yasso completed his third Masters Degree in Church Law, making him the only Chaldean priest trained in Canon Law. 

In 1988, the Patriarch and Vatican authorities asked Fr. Yasso to travel to Canada and establish a parish and community center.  While there he served as a Tribunal Judge for the Archdiocese of Toronto.  Four years later Fr. Yasso returned to Sacred Heart church in Detroit to help care for the remaining Chaldean community residence in the Detroit area.  To this day, Fr. Yasso continues to serve as the parish pastor creating activities and advising the City of Detroit on community related matters. 

Fr. Yasso is a member of the International WYCLIF Bible translators, since 1975, and has completed the translation of the New Testament from Greek and Aramaic into Arabic and spoken Chaldean.   The publication of his scholarly work is set to be released soon.