DAILY CATHOLIC     WEDNESDAY     July 29, 1998     vol. 9, no. 147

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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PAPAL CONDOLENCES FOR NUNS KILLED IN YEMEN, PLANS IMPLEMENTED FOR TIGHTER SECURITY FOR MISSIONARIES

          VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- It was with "profound sorrow" that Pope John Paul II learned of the killing of three members of the Missionaries of Charity in Yemen yesterday.

          In a telegram of condolence written in the Pontiff's name, and addressed both to Father Giovanni Bernardo Gremoli, the apostolic vicar in Arabia, and Sister Nirmala, the head of the religious order founded by Mother Teresa, Cardinal Angelo Sodano said that the Holy Father was praying that the sacrifice of the three nuns would "advance the cause of understanding and respect among religions." The Pope also expressed the hope that their death would bring new blessings to the Missionaries of Charity.

          Sisters Tilia, Anetta, and Michael were gunned down on Monday by a group of Muslim extremists. The nuns were killed as they arrived at work, at a hospital for aged and handicapped people near the Red Sea.

          In the aftermath of the killings, Yemen's health minister, reacting to the murder of three nuns on Monday, called for the government to provide police protection for all religious workers in the country.

          Three sisters of the Missionaries of Charity were shot in a drive-by shooting by suspected Islamic extremists as they entered the health clinics they served as nurses. The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano reported that Yemeni Health Minister Abdullah Abdul-Wali Nasher visited the order's chapter house to express his sorrow and "contacted his colleague who is responsible for interior affairs to ask for protection for the other religious workers who operate in Yemen."

          Yemeni officials said residents captured the gunman, who was identified as Abdullah al-Nasheri, 22, immediately after incident. During an interrogation the gunman said he had killed the nuns, all nurses, because they were "preaching Christianity," the official said. He gave the nuns' names as Sisters Zilia, 35, from India, Elita, 40, from India, and Michaela, 36, from the Philippines. They were among 10 to 12 nuns who provide medical services in Hodeida.


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July 29, 1998       volume 9, no. 147
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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