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MOSUL, Iraq (LifeSiteNews) — Workers discovered a dozen ancient relics and parchments belonging to several saints while restoring a church in Iraq.
Last month, six stone containers with Aramaic inscriptions of saints and several manuscripts in Syriac and Aramaic languages were found in St. Thomas Church in Mosul, as reported by PIME AsiaNews. The historic Syriac Orthodox church had been damaged by ISIS.
“A discovery of great historical, religious and cultural value that confirms — once again— the bond of Christians with Iraq and, more generally, with the Middle Eastern region of which they are the original people and an integral component since the first centuries,” the report reads.
The church had been damaged while ISIS soldiers used it as a military base, and the relics were discovered by workers carrying out repairs. When the containers came to light, the workers immediately notified the Syrian Orthodox Archbishop of Mosul, Mor Nicodemos Sharaf.
The ancient church held Syriac, Armenian, and Arabic parchments wrapped and protected in glass bottles. One container held a relic, an inscription referring to Saint Theodore, a 3rd century Roman soldier who was beheaded for converting to Christianity.
The relics of five other saints were discovered. They belong to Saint Simon ‘the Zealot,’ one of the Twelve Apostles; Saint John, another of the Twelve; Saint Simeon the Wise, traditionally held to be the Biblical Simeon who welcomed the infant Jesus in the Temple of Jerusalem; Mor Gabriel, a sixth-century bishop of the Tur Abdin region in southeast Turkey; and Saint Gregory Bar Hebraeus, a Syrian Orthodox regional primate in the 13th century.
Bishop Robert McElroy (right) is to be made a cardinal in August, despite his inaction on allegations against notorious ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
We all have a responsibility to speak up when serious wrongs are being brought to our attention, but McElroy didn't.
SIGN this petition to demand Pope Francis not reward a bishop who failed to report allegations against McCarrick
The Bishop of San Diego was told about serious sexual wrongdoing by McCarrick in 2016 when psychotherapist Richard Sipe, who had interviewed numerous victims of McCarrick, sent him a detailed letter, but McElroy sat on that information and is now being made a cardinal.
Appointing him to the College of Cardinals is not only an insult to those who suffered clerical sex-abuse, but also to those who are intent on ridding the Church of such evil.
This decision to make McElroy a cardinal must be reversed, and the only way to make that happen is with pressure from the laity.
SIGN and SHARE this petition to stop the appointment of Bishop McElroy to the College of Cardinals
Sipe told McElory that numerous seminarians and priests reported sexual advances and activity by McCarrick in a letter that also detailed extensive abuse by other clerics.
"I have interviewed twelve seminarians and priests who attest to propositions, harassment, or sex with McCarrick," the psychotherapist told McElroy in the 2016 letter, adding: "None so far has found the ability to speak openly at the risk of reputation and retaliation."
McElroy, who claims there was no corroborating evidence, could have brought the allegations to the pope, or even to the Papal Nuncio, but instead ended the correspondence with Sipe, himself a clerical sex-abuse victim.
It would take another year for the truth about McCarrick to slowly emerge in public.
SIGN the petition to stop Bishop McElroy being elevated to the College of Cardinals
Turning a blind eye to serious allegations of sexual wrongdoing is reprehensible in any context, but particularly when a bishop, a shepherd of souls, does so.
He also supports giving Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians, contrary to the Church's teaching, while he has concelebrated LGBT Masses as bishop and claimed Fr. James Martin's attempt to normalize the LGBT ideology is "fully consonant with Catholic teaching".
The sad truth is that McElroy is not fit to continue as a bishop, let alone become a cardinal.
Please SIGN and SHARE this petition to stop the rot that continues to tarnish Christ's Church.
We must do what we can to clean up this mess now.
Bishop McElroy was warned about McCarrick - LifeSiteNews
Pope announces 21 new cardinals, including McElroy - LifeSiteNews
Photo: Theodore McCarrick and Bishop Robert McElroy (Lisa Bourne/LifeSiteNews & Diocese of San Diego/YouTube)
St. Thomas Church has seen much war and destruction since its founding in the 7th century. According to tradition, the church was first built on the site of the house where the apostle St. Thomas stayed while in Mosul. In 1743, the church was severely damaged during the Persian siege of Mosul as part of the Ottoman–Persian War.
The current building was constructed in the 18th century as a sign of appreciation for the Christians who helped defend the city during the siege.
According to PIME AsiaNews, the church was miraculously preserved from destruction during an ISIS occupation in 2017. While the surrounding streets were destroyed by bombs and bullets as the terrorist group took over the city, St. Thomas Church sustained surprisingly little harm to the exterior. The ancient Catholic church stood strong amid the battle as the surrounding mosques were destroyed.