Aid to the Church in Need

Priest leaves London for Iraq to become new archbishop

Wed 12 Jun 2019
By Eno Adeogun

A Catholic priest who spent the last 14 years serving in London has returned to Iraq to become an archbishop ministering to a people recovering from violence.

Monsignor Nizar Semaan was UK Syriac Catholic chaplain in London. He has been ordained Archbishop of Mosul in a church that is still partly blackened following an attack by ISIS militants.

Speaking to Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), the new archbishop said: "I promise to work hand in hand with [the people] for the good of this city and the diocese.


"It is God's will and I accept it as it is. I will do my best to realise the will of God in my service.

"That is the only thing I am going to do."

Aid to the Church in Need


The ordination service took place in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, a building ACN has helped restore in Qaraqosh, where Islamic militants desecrated most Christian buildings.

Qaraqosh is home to the largest Syriac Catholic community in the Nineveh Plains, where Christianity is said to date back to the first century AD.

Roughly, 50 per cent of Christian families who fled Nineveh when ISIS invaded in 2014 have returned.

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