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Violence Should not Call for more Violence, Says Chaldean Bishop
By Huda Metti :: Tuesday, May 20, 2008 :: 40919 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.

St. George, MI USA
St. George Chaldean Catholic Church
45700 Dequinder Rd.,
Shelby Twp., MI 48317
Tel: (586) 254-7221
Fax: (586) 254-2874
 
Pastor: Rev.
Emanuel Shaleta
Parochial Vicar:
Rev. Basel Yaldo

Rev. Emanuel Shaleta 
Rev. Emanuel Hana Isho Shaleta was born in the village of Peshabur in northern Iraq. After completing his primary education he applied and was admitted in September 1971, to the illustrious St. John Seminary in Mosul, Iraq. In 1977 Rev. Shaleta was awarded a scholarship to study philosophy and theology in the renowned Urbaniana Pontifical University in Rome. There he obtained a Ph.D. in Biblical Theology. 
 
The reverends impressive work earned him the honor to be ordained to the priesthood by the hands of Pope John Paul II, in St. Peter Basilica in Rome on May 31, 1984. 
 
On June 3, 1987, Fr. Shaleta was assigned to serve as pastor for St. Paul Assyrian Chaldean Catholic Church in North Hollywood, California, where he served for just about a decade and a half. 
 
In December 2000, Fr. Shaleta was called to assist St. Jospeh Catholic Chaldean Church in Troy, Michigan and shortly thereafter was appointed pastor in 2002. Fr. Shaleta’s impressive leadership merited a unanimous appointment as the first pastor of St. George Chaldean Catholic Church, in Shelby Twp. Michigan, billed as the largest Chaldean church in the world. Fr. Shaleta continues to this day to impressively lead the faithful and offer wonderful opportunities and service to the community. 
 
Rev. Basel Yaldo
 
Rev. Basel Yaldo was born in Telkaif, Iraq in 1970. Rev. Yaldo graduated from the National Teachers College in Iraq in 1989 and was drafted in the army in 1990. In 1993, he was honorably discharged for his service. A year later Rev. Yaldo was admitted to Babel College in Baghdad to study philosophy and theology. There Fr. Yaldo, received a scholarship to study in Rome at Urban College, where he completed his bachelor’s degree in theology in 2001. 
 
On November 23, 2002, Fr. Yaldo was ordained a priest by His Excellency Bishop Ibrahim N. Ibrahim, Bishop of the Diocese of St. Thomas the Apostle for the Chaldeans. Fr. Yaldo continued his studies whereby he completed a masters degree in Dogmatic Theology with a focus on Marian studies from Urban College in 2003. 
 
The following year he was appointed assistant director of the seminary in the Dora district of Baghdad, and taught Dogmatic Theology at Babel College. His commanding leadership and steadfast skills earned him the secretarial appointment to Patriarch Emanuel III Delly. Upon completion of his duties as patriarchal secretary, Fr. Yaldo was nominated and selected as assistant pastor to St. George Chaldean Catholic Church Shelby Township, Michigan.