Rorate Caeli

Updated throughout the day

We have just received this desperate appeal from the Chaldean Catholic Patriarchate in Baghdad, following the fall of Qaraqosh (see our editorial from earlier today) and the current humanitarian tragedy as 100,000 Christians flee the Islamic terrorist armies.

[Update: 11:30 a.m. GMT:] As a response to the catastrophe, the Holy See Press Office made a declaration on how the Pope is extremely concerned with Iraqi Christians, rehashing what was said at the Angelus of almost three weeks ago after Mosul Christians were expelled.

We regret to say, but a Holy See spokesman declaration is not enough at this extremely urgent moment! The Christian, Catholic, 2000-year-old presence in Iraq is being wiped out as we speak. Since all the media seems to agree that Pope Francis is the most popular figure in the world today, then only he can make the dramatic gestures that the moment demands. It's a time for public weeping, and crying out loud in the middle of Saint Peter's Square for all the world to see, if necessary. It's time to denounce by name the powerful of this world who have abandoned the Christians of Iraq and Syria. It's time to show that we are desperate because they, our brothers and sisters, are desperate. What's the point of popularity if it is not put to urgent use in moments of emergency?

Please, Peter, show your face and your tears for all the world to see! Please, Peter, speak up with your own voice! These are your own sheep being massacred!

[Update: 5:30 p.m. GMT:] After chasing the Kurdish and Assyrian fighting forces from the Nineveh Plains to the East, it was easy for ISIS terrorist armies to take hold of the Mosul Dam to the north, on the Tigris, near the Turkey-Syria-Iraq triple border.

This and the minority emergency of Christians and Yazidis have at last prompted more vigorous responses today:

1) Emergency session of the United Nations Security Council, probably with specific measures. The session will be held at 11:30 p.m. GMT (7:30 p.m. local time). Please contacUnited Nations Missions of Security Council permanent members - by mail or Twitter: , , ,

2) The United States is considering specific measures, including airstrikes, that could begin at any moment.

3) France will send military aid to the forces fighting for the Kurdish Region (mostly Kurds, but also many Assyrians are in the Kurdish troops and their allies).

[Update: 9:00 p.m. GMT:] From the Times (UK): "US carrier is set for attack - The USS George HW Bush, equipped with four squadrons of F/A-18 Super Hornet jet fighters, is waiting for an order from President Obama to launch strikes against the Islamic State"

[Update: 11:20 p.m. GMT:] As in Aesop's fable, the mountain in labor gave birth to a mouse... From the U.N. Security Council, a third innocuous "condemnation" of the terrorists, and "support" for the Iraqi government. From the US government so far, not any intervention regarding ISIS, but only humanitarian aid to some isolated groups, dropped without even certainty that it will help them or be seized by the attackers, as it often happens in such circumstances.
[Last update: Aug. 8, 01:40 a.m. GMT:] The President of the United States has authorized limited airstrikes against ISIS.