First Iraqi Cardinal
By Michael K. Jones

On Oct. 17, 2007 Emmanuel III Delly  age 81, along with 22 others around the world were elevated to Cardinal by His Holiness Pope Benedict. Although the number of Christians in Baghdad have dwindled due to the continuing war in Iraq, Delly noted in an interview that "Those who kill don't kill only Christians. They kill Muslims as well - the situation is the same for both."

It is estimated  there are about 500 thousand Christians left in Iraq verses the one and a half million during the leadership of Saddam Hussein. Cardinal Delly agrees Christians have not faired well throughout Iraq during these deeply troubled times of persecution primarily by "Sunni Arab extremists." The new Cardinal views his role as a broad based spiritual leader, speaking up on behalf of Iraq's Christians.

Delly was born in Mosul to a Christian family in which several close relatives also became priests. He went to school there until he was 19, when he left for Rome to study. He stayed 14 years, traveling through Europe to holy places and completing his studies. He obtained three degrees: a master's in philosophy, a doctorate in theology and a doctorate in Canon Law. His studies included the Koran.

Most American's are not even aware that Christians and Muslims have lived together in Iraq for some 1400 years.


 Just as this month we have presented this piece on the first Cardinal in Iraq,  next month we will share the interesting story of the first Mother Superior in Iraq. Below are so some exclusive pictures given to Medjugorje USA of the first Iraqi Mother Superior. Photo credits: Naima Panow MD.

1948 from the right; Mother Amy, Naima's  mother and Naima wearing white blouse kneeling on the grass with the children






Picture taken in Mosel, Mother Amy and  Priest Michael Hendow, Cousin of Naima Panow








Mother Amy and her two sisters in the convent







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