CWNews.com - Gunmen linked with al-Qaeda stormed a Catholic church in Baghdad during Liturgy on October 31.

“They entered the church with their weapons, wearing military uniforms,” said an 18-year-old who survived the attack. “They came into the prayer hall and immediately killed the priest.”

After the gunmen took the worshippers hostage, US troops and Iraqi police stormed the parish in a rescue attempt. One gunman detonated a suicide belt, and a shootout ensued, leaving at least 37 hostages and 7 members of security forces dead along with 5 terrorists.

The Islamic State of Iraq-- the Iraqi al-Qaeda affiliate-- said it was responsible for attacking what it called “the dirty place of the infidel which Iraqi Christians have long used as a base to fight Islam.” The group said that it was taking action in support of Muslims in Egypt, charging that Muslim women are being held hostage by Coptic Orthodox clerics. The group warned that it could take action against the Copts next.

At a midday audience on November 1, Pope Benedict XVI decried the “senseless violence—all the more ferocious because it affected defenseless civilians.”

“Faced with the brutal violence that continues to tear the peoples of the Middle East apart”, the Holy Father added, “I renew my appeal for peace.” Chaldean Catholic Bishop Shlemon Warduni—who visited survivors on Monday, together with Chaldean Patriarch Emmanuel III Delly—remarked that “the Christian community no longer feel safe, not even in the House of God.” He predicted that the attack would trigger a new round of emigration as Iraqi Christians look for security elsewhere.

 

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Teachings of Christ

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." (John 3:16-18 ESV)

Seventh Ecumenical Council

O Christ our God, You are most glorious, * for You established our Fathers as lights upon the earth * and through them led us to the true faith. * O greatly Compassionate One, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 8)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

The Son Who shone forth ineffably from the Father * was born two-fold in nature. * Beholding Him, we do not refuse the image of his form, * but piously depicting it, we honor it faithfully. * Therefore the Church, holding fast to the true faith, * kisses the icon of the incarnation of Christ. (Kontakion, Tone 6)

(Troparia of the Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council)

Random Proverb

"Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest." (Proverbs 6:6-8 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

"'And [Naaman] dipped himself . . . seven times in the Jordan' [2 Kgs. 5:14]. It was not for nothing that Naaman of old, when suffering from leprosy, was purified upon his being baptized, but [this served] as an indication to us. For as we are lepers in sin, we are made clean, by means of the sacred water and the invocation of the Lord, from our old transgressions, being spiritually regenerated as new-born babes, even as the Lord has declared: `Except a man be born again through water and the Spirit, he shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.'"

St. Irenaeus of Lyons (190 AD), Fragment 34