Cardinal joins pleas for Iraq peace workers - news from ekklesia

Cardinal joins pleas for Iraq peace workers - news from ekklesia

By staff writers
12 Dec 2005

Cardinal joins pleas for Iraq peace workers

-12/12/05

The Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, sent a message to a vigil of Christians and Muslims in Londonís Trafalgar Square this evening, praying for the lives of four peace captives in Iraq.

It is now nearly 48 hours since a previously unknown militant group threatened to kill Dr Norman Kember, 74, James Loney, 41, and Harmeet Singh Sooden, 32, both Canadians, and an American, Tom Fox, 54.

In a note sent to Pat Gaffney, General Secretary of the Catholic peace movement Pax Christi, Cardinal Cormac Murphy OíConnor said: ìI want to unite my prayers to yours as you remember in your vigil the four members of Christian Peacemaker Teams being held hostage in Iraq.î

He continued: ìI want the families of Norman, Tom, Harmeet and James to know that we are thinking of them, and praying, too, that the hearts of those who hold them be converted to the cause of peace and love. I plead with their captors to have mercy, as God is merciful, and to release them.î

Many thousands of people are joining in vigils across the world tonight, as the silence from the Sword of Righteousness (Truth) Brigades, who kidnapped the men in a mosque in central Baghdad, leads to theories of both hope and despair.

The envoy Anas Altikriti, from the Muslim Association of Britain, who was born in Iraq and travelled there to try to negotiate the hostages' release, said this morning that the silence meant the hostages were probably alive. He warned, however, that it could be many weeks before the situation became clearer.

Speaking from Jordan, he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: ìI think that there is the hope that now we have entered what we call a silence period, when the group just basically ceases all communications for a while. It could be for a few days, a few weeks, sometimes in previous cases a few months.î

Concluded Mr Altikriti: ìAt least we know that if they had done any harm to the hostages we would know by now. It is certainly daunting and now we just continue to wait and hope and pray.î

[Updated full chronological list of related articles on Ekklesia as of 13 December 2005 AM: Features - Christian Peacemaker Teams full briefing (with links to features and stories on CPT's work); Christian peacemakers - a lesson to the peace movement (by Mark A. LeVine); Why are we here? (by CPTer Tom Fox). Advent hope for Iraq, captives and Limbaugh (Sojourners magazine). What on earth are we waiting for? (Simon Barrow, Advent and Iraq). News ñ Cardinal joins pleas for Iraq peace workers (above); Praying for a miracle amid Iraq hostage silence 12/12/05; All faiths candlelit vigil in London for Norman Kember 12/12/05; Officials and families seek news on Iraq Christian peace workers 12/12/05; Lobbying goes on as Iraq hostage deadline passes 11/12/05; Hope continues as Iraq captive deadline looms 10/12/05; Embattled Hezbollah backs Iraq 'doves of peace' 09/12/05; UN secretary general calls for release of all Iraqi captives 09/12/05; Former Guantanamo Bay detainees call for release of Christian peacemakers 08/12/05; Jack Straw says he will talk on Iraq hostages 08/12/05; Abu Qatada pleas for Iraq captives as deadline is extended 08/12/05; Christians criticize UK Iraq war budget increase 08/12/05; Christian peacemakers say the work must go on 08/12/05; Last minute appeals made for Christian peacemakers 07/12/05 ; Muslim detainees plead for lives of Christian peacemakers 06/12/05; Faith groups in the US unite to back Iraq captives 06/12/05; French engineer seized in Iraq 05/12/05; Norman Kember's wife pleads for his life 04/12/05; Iraqi, Muslim and Palestinian support for peace hostages grows 04/12/05; Insurgents say they will kill Christian peacemakers 02/12/05; WCC calls for freeing of Christian peace workers 02/12/05; Vigils and messages of support for abducted peace activist 02/12/05; Palestinian bishop seeks mercy for Iraq peace workers 02/12/05; Anti-war campaigner flies to Iraq to plead for Christian peacemakers 01/12/05; Muslims urge release of Christian peacemakers missing in Iraq 01/12/05; Al-Jazeera releases film of Iraq peace hostages 30/11/05; Search goes on for Christian peacemaker kidnapped in Iraq 28/11/05. Key book: Patricia Gates-Brown (ed.), Getting in the Way: Stories from Christian Peacemaker Teams, Herald Press]Christian Peacemaker Teams full briefing (with links to features and stories on CPT's work); Why are we here? (by CPTer Tom Fox); Christians criticize UK Iraq war budget increase 08/12/05; Christian peacemakers say the work must go on 08/12/05; Last minute appeals made for Christian peacemakers 07/12/05 ; Muslim detainees plead for lives of Christian peacemakers 06/12/05; Faith groups in the US unite to back Iraq captives 06/12/05; French engineer seized in Iraq 05/12/05; Norman Kember's wife pleads for his life 04/12/05; Iraqi, Muslim and Palestinian support for peace hostages grows 04/12/05; Insurgents say they will kill Christian peacemakers 02/12/05; WCC calls for freeing of Christian peace workers 02/12/05; Vigils and messages of support for abducted peace activist 02/12/05; Palestinian bishop seeks mercy for Iraq peace workers 02/12/05; Anti-war campaigner flies to Iraq to plead for Christian peacemakers 01/12/05; Muslims urge release of Christian peacemakers missing in Iraq 01/12/05; Al-Jazeera releases film of Iraq peace hostages 30/11/05; Search goes on for Christian peacemaker kidnapped in Iraq 28/11/05. Key book: Patricia Gates-Brown (ed.), Getting in the Way: Stories from Christian Peacemaker Teams, Herald Press]

Cardinal joins pleas for Iraq peace workers

-12/12/05

The Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, sent a message to a vigil of Christians and Muslims in London's Trafalgar Square this evening, praying for the lives of four peace captives in Iraq.

It is now nearly 48 hours since a previously unknown militant group threatened to kill Dr Norman Kember, 74, James Loney, 41, and Harmeet Singh Sooden, 32, both Canadians, and an American, Tom Fox, 54.

In a note sent to Pat Gaffney, General Secretary of the Catholic peace movement Pax Christi, Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor said: 'I want to unite my prayers to yours as you remember in your vigil the four members of Christian Peacemaker Teams being held hostage in Iraq.'

He continued: 'I want the families of Norman, Tom, Harmeet and James to know that we are thinking of them, and praying, too, that the hearts of those who hold them be converted to the cause of peace and love. I plead with their captors to have mercy, as God is merciful, and to release them.'

Many thousands of people are joining in vigils across the world tonight, as the silence from the Sword of Righteousness (Truth) Brigades, who kidnapped the men in a mosque in central Baghdad, leads to theories of both hope and despair.

The envoy Anas Altikriti, from the Muslim Association of Britain, who was born in Iraq and travelled there to try to negotiate the hostages' release, said this morning that the silence meant the hostages were probably alive. He warned, however, that it could be many weeks before the situation became clearer.

Speaking from Jordan, he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: 'I think that there is the hope that now we have entered what we call a silence period, when the group just basically ceases all communications for a while. It could be for a few days, a few weeks, sometimes in previous cases a few months.'

Concluded Mr Altikriti: 'At least we know that if they had done any harm to the hostages we would know by now. It is certainly daunting and now we just continue to wait and hope and pray.'

[Updated full chronological list of related articles on Ekklesia as of 13 December 2005 AM: Features - Christian Peacemaker Teams full briefing (with links to features and stories on CPT's work); Christian peacemakers - a lesson to the peace movement (by Mark A. LeVine); Why are we here? (by CPTer Tom Fox). Advent hope for Iraq, captives and Limbaugh (Sojourners magazine). What on earth are we waiting for? (Simon Barrow, Advent and Iraq). News - Cardinal joins pleas for Iraq peace workers (above); Praying for a miracle amid Iraq hostage silence 12/12/05; All faiths candlelit vigil in London for Norman Kember 12/12/05; Officials and families seek news on Iraq Christian peace workers 12/12/05; Lobbying goes on as Iraq hostage deadline passes 11/12/05; Hope continues as Iraq captive deadline looms 10/12/05; Embattled Hezbollah backs Iraq 'doves of peace' 09/12/05; UN secretary general calls for release of all Iraqi captives 09/12/05; Former Guantanamo Bay detainees call for release of Christian peacemakers 08/12/05; Jack Straw says he will talk on Iraq hostages 08/12/05; Abu Qatada pleas for Iraq captives as deadline is extended 08/12/05; Christians criticize UK Iraq war budget increase 08/12/05; Christian peacemakers say the work must go on 08/12/05; Last minute appeals made for Christian peacemakers 07/12/05 ; Muslim detainees plead for lives of Christian peacemakers 06/12/05; Faith groups in the US unite to back Iraq captives 06/12/05; French engineer seized in Iraq 05/12/05; Norman Kember's wife pleads for his life 04/12/05; Iraqi, Muslim and Palestinian support for peace hostages grows 04/12/05; Insurgents say they will kill Christian peacemakers 02/12/05; WCC calls for freeing of Christian peace workers 02/12/05; Vigils and messages of support for abducted peace activist 02/12/05; Palestinian bishop seeks mercy for Iraq peace workers 02/12/05; Anti-war campaigner flies to Iraq to plead for Christian peacemakers 01/12/05; Muslims urge release of Christian peacemakers missing in Iraq 01/12/05; Al-Jazeera releases film of Iraq peace hostages 30/11/05; Search goes on for Christian peacemaker kidnapped in Iraq 28/11/05. Key book: Patricia Gates-Brown (ed.), Getting in the Way: Stories from Christian Peacemaker Teams, Herald Press]Christian Peacemaker Teams full briefing (with links to features and stories on CPT's work); Why are we here? (by CPTer Tom Fox); Christians criticize UK Iraq war budget increase 08/12/05; Christian peacemakers say the work must go on 08/12/05; Last minute appeals made for Christian peacemakers 07/12/05 ; Muslim detainees plead for lives of Christian peacemakers 06/12/05; Faith groups in the US unite to back Iraq captives 06/12/05; French engineer seized in Iraq 05/12/05; Norman Kember's wife pleads for his life 04/12/05; Iraqi, Muslim and Palestinian support for peace hostages grows 04/12/05; Insurgents say they will kill Christian peacemakers 02/12/05; WCC calls for freeing of Christian peace workers 02/12/05; Vigils and messages of support for abducted peace activist 02/12/05; Palestinian bishop seeks mercy for Iraq peace workers 02/12/05; Anti-war campaigner flies to Iraq to plead for Christian peacemakers 01/12/05; Muslims urge release of Christian peacemakers missing in Iraq 01/12/05; Al-Jazeera releases film of Iraq peace hostages 30/11/05; Search goes on for Christian peacemaker kidnapped in Iraq 28/11/05. Key book: Patricia Gates-Brown (ed.), Getting in the Way: Stories from Christian Peacemaker Teams, Herald Press]

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