Massacre at Mass in Baghdad

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Massacre at Mass in BaghdadImagine a Friday afternoon in Detroit with a mosque full of praying followers of Mohammed. Suddenly, several armed “Christian” terrorists invade the premises, kill the imam and take the worshipers hostage. When they begin to lose the ensuing firefight with police and military who rush to the scene, they explode some bombs. The result is 58 dead and 75 seriously injured or maimed.

What would be the reaction of so-called world public opinion, or rather, liberal media, “celebrities” and political leaders? There would be a deafening chorus against this great act of cruelty and infamy: How could anyone attack peaceful people in the very act of praying?

So why did the bloody spectacle of the al-Qaeda attack on Our Lady of Salvation (also known as Our Lady of Deliverance) Syriac Catholic Cathedral in Baghdad (which left more than fifty dead and maimed nearly a hundred) not arouse similar indignation and uproar? The news, analyses and commentary of journalists, “celebrities” and government officials were muted and restrained.

In the days when communism/socialism dominated half the world and influenced intellectuals in the other half, “political correctness” dictated that one should manifest outrage only when the Left suffered an attack. Communist massacres were ignored or reported in “neutral” and soporiferous language. It seems that now the same “political correctness” is being applied to Islamic terrorism.

But let’s return to the massacre at the Catholic Cathedral in Baghdad.
“Everywhere [there is] blood. The atmosphere is very tense. They entered the confessional and shot the priest,” said an 18-year-old who declined to be identified and survived the nightmare.1

“It was a massacre in there…. We Christians don’t have enough protection. What shall I do now? Leave and ask for asylum?” Raed Hadi, a family member of one of the victims stated.2

According to a young man who was present and survived, the terrorists “entered the church with their weapons, wearing military uniforms. They came into the prayer hall and immediately killed the priest.”

Monsignor Pius Kasha, of the Syriac Catholic Church, commented: “It was carnage.”

The same Monsignor described the attack: “The men who carried out the attack were very organized — the way they entered…how well prepared and armed with machine guns, explosive belts, and everything they could need…. How they quickly closed the doors and shut in the faithful. Then the security forces came and…. It was a real tragedy — so many lives lost…”3

Father Douglas Yousef Al-Bazy, who was kidnapped in 2006 and worked with the two executed priests, made the following statement: “Those who say we are safe, that we can live peacefully in Iraq, they are liars. But we will stay in this country because still there are Christian people here and we still have a mission here.”4

Fr. Wassim Sabih, one of the two priests murdered in church as he was holding a crucifix, urged terrorists to kill him and spare the faithful: their answer was to throw him to the ground and riddle his body with bullets.

Marie Freij, a parishioner, was wounded in the leg, and lay for three hours on the floor, soaked with the priests’ blood. Her subsequent declaration at the hospital shows the sublimity of faith: “I thought I would make it, but even if I didn’t, I was in the church, and it would have been OK.”

“Several survivors” reports The New York Times, “said that many of the casualties occurred when the gunmen entered and began firing randomly — at the people, church icons and even the windows. They described the ferocity on the part of the gunmen, some of them speaking in dialects from other Arab countries, as though the very sight of the church’s interior had enraged them. ‘They seemed insane,’ said Ban Abdullah, a 50-year-old survivor.”5

The barbaric act of terrorism has been claimed by a terrorist group linked to the al-Qaeda, “The Islamic State of Iraq.” According to the site Intelligence Group, they released the following statement:

“The Mujahideens raided a filthy nest of polytheism, which has been long taken by the Christians of Iraq as a headquarters for a war against the religion of Islam and they were able by the grace of God and His glory to capture those were gathered in and to take full control of all its entrances.”6

The Mass is the bloodless sacramental renewal of the Holy Sacrifice of Calvary, in which Our Redeemer shed his blood for us in the most terrible of deaths, voluntarily accepted for our salvation. At this Mass in Baghdad, on Sunday, October 31, the blood of the faithful mingled with the Savior’s, making that holy sacrifice, which is bloodless in its essence, a very bloody one in its accidents.

“The blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians” (sanguis martyrum semen Christianorum), according to Tertullian’s consecrated expression. May the blood shed by our brothers in the faith who are oppressed by Islamism in Iraq and elsewhere obtain from Almighty God the grace to arouse in the West the courage needed to face the enemies of Christianity and the will to fight for the true faith of Our Lord Jesus Christ.


  1. “The death tolls of violence in Baghdad Church increase to 58 people.”
  2. “Massacre at Baghdad Church; 52 Dead”
  3. “2 Priests among 46 Christians killed in Hostage Drama in Iraq”
  4. Jane Arraf and Sahar Issa, “After Baghdad church attack, Christians shocked but say ‘we still have a mission here’” Tue, Nov 2 2010 8:59 am.
  5. ANTHONY SHADID, “Church Attack Seen as Strike at Iraq’s Core” November 1, 2010
  6. Jonathan Adams, Correspondent / November 1, 2010, “Deadly Baghdad church siege highlights threat to Iraqi Christians”

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