The Catholic Archbishop of Baghdad, Msgr Jean Benjamin Sleiman, said today's surprise handover of powers by the US provisional authority administrator Paul Bremer to the Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi, of the transitional government, offered hope to the country's silent majority. In an interview with the Missionary News Service he said: "Hope has returned. The people have the sensation of having regained possession of their nation. Before there was not really the sense of being subdued by an enemy force, but rather a feeling with extreme sufferance of a void of power and institutions." The Archbishop of Baghdad, a Discalced Carmelite, said he felt the majority of Iraqis supported the new government. While the ongoing resistance could not be overlooked, he said: " there are a multitude of silent Iraqis laboriously attempting to rebuild their lives who believe in the possibility of reviving the nation and look to the United Nations and international community for help. "These people have lived through extremely dramatic situations and each step forward, whether small or large, brings with it hope." Source: MISNA
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