Friday, March 14, 2008

+Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho Martyr

The kidnapping and subsequent death of Archbishop Rahho, a Chaldean Catholic, made it into the secular news though the reports varied. I overheard on one news network that the Archbishop was a Chaldean Christian, and then the reporter added that the Chaldeans acknowledge the Pope. Another report indicated simply that he was a Chaldean and I'm fairly certain that it means nothing to most Christians. Not necessarily his kidnapping and subsequent death (perhaps murder) but they do not understand the Rites within Catholicism.

This beloved and brave man was one of our own. He was a faithful servant within the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church; a shepherd to the Catholics who fear death and murder every single day. Are there any Christian fundamentalists worshiping or doing missionary work in Iraq? I ask honestly because of the comments I hear on behalf of certain fundamentalists at a site which will not be named that creating peace in the middle east is impossible. They clearly believe that the pope is part muslim if he wishes to engage in peaceful dialogue. He is somehow satan incarnate if he does not bash them over the heads with a King James Bible and instead asks them for peace? How can the Word of God be shared and how can you evangelize until there is silence and voices may be heard? For some reason I cannot picture Kirk Cameron approaching an Iraqi terrorist and asking him if he knows how to get to heaven...

Whether or not the terrorists killed the late Archbishop or not is irrelevant. He was kidnapped, those with him at the time were brutally murdered and their message to Christians living in the hostile middle east was clear: "You're next." Following a Christian burial today, we can be certain of one thing: this man is a Saint in heaven now, martyred along with so many others who continue to follow Christ and His Holy Church despite grave danger. Martyr is derived from the Greek 'martus' which means witness. Now we must ask ourselves and answer honestly from the very depth of our souls: Are we ready to be martyrs for Jesus Christ?

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