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Catholic World News News Feature

Iraqi bishops oppose execution of prelate's convicted killer May 20, 2008

Catholic bishops in Iraq have announced their opposition to the execution of a man convicted of killing Archbishop Paulos Faraj Raho, the AsiaNews service reports.

After a court sentenced Ahmad Ali Ahmad to death for his part in the kidnapping and death of Archbishop Rahos, two other prelates of the Chaldean Catholic Church said that the deceased archbishop himself would have opposed the use of the death sentence.

"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.

Catholic leaders in Iraq pointed out that authorities had not yet answered any important questions about the kidnapping of Archbishop Raho from his home in Mosul. Among those questions, they pointed out, were the motives of the kidnappers and the Ahmad, the man convicted of the killing, and other members of the terrorist group connected with Al Qaida in Iraq.

[For a more detailed report see the AsiaNews web site.]

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