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Pope will visit cathedral where al Qaeda caused the death of more than 50 people


On Christmas, the Iraqi prime minister, a Muslim, attended Mass in this Syro-Catholic cathedral in Baghdad.

That's where the pope will hold his first meeting with the country's Christians on Friday evening. The cathedral wasn't chosen at random.

ALBERT HISHAM NAOOM
Spokesman, Chaldean Catholic Church
“On Oct. 31, 2010, there was a terrorist attack in this Syro-Catholic cathedral during Mass on Sunday. Forty-eight Christians were killed. Among them were two priests, who were the first to be killed.”

This photograph remembers those 48 Christians, who are currently in the process of beatification, and whom the Church considers martyrs.

ALBERT HISHAM NAOOM
Spokesman, Chaldean Catholic Church
“This cathedral contains all the suffering of Christians in Iraq, all the pain we've faced in the last years. That's why we are filled with hope that the Holy Father will visit it during his trip to Iraq.”

By visiting, the pope is also recognizing the nine Muslims who died during the attack. Most of them were police officers and security guards.

JMB