Baghdad: kidnapped priest found safe

 A Chaldean-rite Catholic priest was released on Monday night after 27 days in captivity. Fr Saad Sirop Hanna, 34, who works in a parish in one of Baghdad's most dangerous neighbourhoods, was snatched from his car by masked men on 15 August. He had just celebrated Mass at St Jacob's parish in Dora, Baghdad, for the feast of the Assumption, and was planning a trip to Rome to collect his diploma from the Pontifical University. A campaign was immediately organised to free Fr Hanna. Patriarch Delly and the Chaldean bishops issued appeals and Pope Benedict XVI also issued a statement calling for release. Chaldean Patriarch Emmanuel II Delly said he was overjoyed at the news. "He is free and now is doing well. This is the only thing that counts." "Fr Hanna told Aid to the Church in Need: "I am so happy to be safe." He said the prayers for his release had united a divided Iraq, and that the prayers had been a miracle for him. "From the moment I was kidnapped, I felt God was with me. I began to say: 'God, you are my protector. You will be with me in my pain." Fr Hanna said he feels no hatred toward his abductors. "I pray for them; I am continuing to pray for them," he said. Source: ACN

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