Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Vatican opens cause for sainthood of Angelicum alumnus
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican has given its permission for the opening of the sainthood cause of an Iraqi priest and three deacons who were murdered by armed gunmen in Mosul.
The Congregation for Saints' Causes gave the "nihil obstat" ("no objection"), permitting a diocesan bishop to open a local inquiry into a candidate's sanctity, according to Fides, the news agency of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, May 14.
Fides confirmed that the Eparchy of St. Thomas the Apostle of Detroit would be handling the process because of the difficult conditions facing the church in Mosul.
Chaldean Father Ragheed Aziz Ganni, his cousin Deacon Basman Yousef Daud, and Deacons Wahid Hanna Isho and Gassan Isam Bidawed were killed June 3, 2007, in front of the Holy Spirit Church in Mosul. Father Ganni had just finished celebrating Mass for the feast of Pentecost.
The three deacons had been accompanying Father Ganni because of increasing threats against him by militants. According to AsiaNews, armed gunman shot the four men and then booby-trapped their car with explosives to prevent others from safely recovering the bodies.
Father Ganni was born in Mosul in 1972. He graduated in engineering and studied theology from 1996 to 2003 at Rome's Pontifical Irish College and the Pontifical University of Thomas Aquinas the "Angelicum," where he received a license in ecumenical theology.
The case of Bishop Paul Faraj Rahho or Paulos Faradsch Raho is also being studied. He was an ethnic Chaldean, born in Mosul, where he lived almost his entire life. Bishop Rahho came to worldwide attention in 2008 when he was kidnapped by gunmen and subsequently found dead in Mosul, an event that drew condemnation from the Vatican and foreign governments.
Between 1974 and 1976, Rahho completed his religious studies with a Licentiate in Theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum in Rome.