Vatican: Francois Murad shot, not beheaded
Updated information conflicts with earlier account.
The Vatican has admitted that circumstances surrounding the death of Fr. Francois Murad, were "not fully understood" when it released a statement last week about the martyrdom of the Catholic cleric. Catholic Online was one of the leading outlets that broke the news that Murad had been beheaded.
It now appears those reports, owing to the nature of the conflict in Syria, were correct except that the attendant video may not depict the martyrdom of the friar after all. Instead, the video appears to show that another cleric, as yet precisely unidentified, was brutally murdered.
What is apparent is that there are conflicting reports from multiple sources that Murad was either beheaded or shot. What is agreed is that he was brutally murdered by jihadists. Reports from the region continue to conflict.
However, the report is correct in that Murad was martyred on June 23, by jihadists. New reports suggest he was shot while taking refuge in the monastery of St. Simon. Allegedly now, jihadits rebels entered the monastery to ransack the place and Murad was shot while attempting to defend his sister nuns.
It now becomes a mystery as to who was martyred in the video. The reason why was explained in Arabic: those being killed were guilty before Allah and deserved death. The victims were identified as Christians. Jihadists have earned a reputation for dealing out summary justice to both supporters of the Assad regime as well as Christians.
What is most essential to relate is that Christians all across the region are in great jeopardy as militant Islamist militias join the Free Syrian Army with the hopes of hijacking the revolution there and establishing an Islamic state.
The United States and allies are now equipping these same rebels with modern, sophisticated weaponry.
Several local sources have shared with international media outlets the fact that Murad most likely died when he was shot inside the monastery. His death is merely the latest in a lengthening series of martyrdoms as Christians face an ever-increasing stream of violence at the hands of ever more radical jihadists.
Catholic Online will continue to share news on this development as it is released by the Vatican.
© 2013, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2013
General Intention: Victimized Children. That children who are victims of abandonment or violence may find the love and protection they need.
Missionary Intention: Prepare the Savior's Coming. That Christians, enlightened by the Word incarnate, may prepare humanity for the Savior's coming.
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