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Archbishop Gabriel Kassab of Basra, Iraq visits Baltimore

Archbishop Gabriel Kassab of Basra, Iraq will join Cardinal William H. Keeler, Archbishop of Baltimore, for a media availability on Thursday, September 14, at 3:30 p.m. in front of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary to discuss the current state of affairs in southern Iraq and Ur.

Archbishop Kassab was born in 1938 in Telkaif, Iraq and ordained a priest in 1963. In May of 1995 he was named Archbishop of Southern Iraq and Ur. Throughout the years of his ministry, Archbishop Kassab has served as a schoolteacher, member and judge of the Iraq Church Judiciary System, and is the author of several books on religion and children.

In February of 1998, Cardinal Keeler joined other American Cardinals and the President of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in a letter to President Clinton on the situation in Iraq. The letter suggested that the U.S. embargo on Iraq be revised to permit humanitarian aid for the Iraqi people and to prevent the destruction of the lives of the innocent. Archbishop Kassab will be available to offer a personal perspective regarding the tragedy to the people of Iraq caused in part by the U.S. embargo.

Media are invited to attend and should contact Ray Kempisty at (410) 547-5378 for more information. The Basilica is located on the corner of Mulberry and Cathedral streets across from the Enoch Pratt Library.