Successor Elected for Slain Iraqi Prelate

Christians Welcome News With Hope

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MOSUL, Iraq, NOV. 13, 2009 ( Benedict XVI approved the election of Father Emil Shimoun Nona as the new archbishop of the Archeparchy of Mosul of the Chaldeans.

As is traditional in the Eastern-rite Churches, the election of the archbishop was carried out by the synod of bishops of the Chaldean Church, and then approved by the Pope.

Today, a Vatican communiqué reported the Pontiff’s consent to the election, by which he ratified the Chaldean Church’s communion with the universal Church.

Archbishop-elect Nona, 42, fills the vacancy left by Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho, who was kidnapped and killed in March 2008.

Emil Shimoun Nona was born in Alqosh. He was ordained to the priesthood for that eparchy in 1991.

Father Nona has been serving as vicar general as well as a professor of Babel College.

The Catholics in Mosul are welcoming the news of his appointment with «joy and renewed hope,» AsiaNews reported.

A Catholic source who asked to remain anonymous told the news agency: «We were waiting, anxious about the appointment. 

«We hope he starts playing his role as soon as possible, and that he puts order in the diocese and becomes an authoritative voice that can get Christian rights respected.»

The source explained that Christians in that region «are caught up in a political battle full of episodes of violence.»

«Those who are left,» he added, «and the new pastor now have the task of rebuilding the Church and the life of the faithful.»

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