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Iraqi Bishop Tells Pope of Shock at Violence Against Christians
By Guest Reporter :: Thursday, November 27, 2008 :: 43500 Views :: Law & Order, Government & Society

Baghdad, IRAQ - The Christians of Iraq were shocked when Muslims started trying to drive the Christians of Mosul out of their homes in early October, an Iraqi bishop told Vatican Radio after meeting Pope Benedict XVI.

Chaldean Auxiliary Bishop Shlemon Warduni of Baghdad met the Pope on November 26 at the end of the Pope's weekly general audience.

The Pope told the bishop: "Iraq is in our hearts. We constantly remember the Christians, praying for them and for peace in the country."

Bishop Warduni told Vatican Radio that between 700 and 800 of the 2,500 Christian families who had left Mosul in October had returned after the Iraqi government sent troops to the city to protect Christians.

"This whole thing made us very sad because we have lived together in peace for centuries," the bishop said. "During all the wars, our churches and our homes were open to Muslims and to all others."

Referring to the violence that claimed the lives of 13 Christians in October and led to the destruction of many homes, the bishop said, "It was a shock that Christians were attacked in such a diabolical way."

Bishop Warduni said the United States, Europe and the United Nations did not do enough to get the Iraqi government to act immediately when Muslim gangs began going through the city, using megaphones to tell Christians to leave Mosul.

Now that Iraqi troops are patrolling Mosul, he said: "Some are coming back, but many still do not have trust and are afraid they will be chased out again." 

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.