A new word is cropping up in this morning's headlines about the ongoing vigil for James Loney and his three peace-activist colleagues held in Iraq.
With their execution deadline passed over the weekend, there's abolutely no indication this morning of the whereabouts or wellbeing of the captives.
Here's a sampling of quotes culled by SooToday.com from the national and world media:
******************** CBC News
"It's very hard to try to decode or demystify silence," said Dan McTeague, the parliamentary secretary for Canadians abroad. "We have to accept it and work within the confines of continuing to ensure that those who are in a position to receive the message get the message."
The Globe and Mail
At the Precious Blood Cathedral, where members of the Loney family have attended services for 20 years, Monsignor Bernard Burns told parishioners, "This morning we pray for the safe return and freedom of the hostages in Iraq." After the service, an emotional Father Burns said, "I still believe in my bones that they will be okay."
"My concern is they will release the two Canadians and keep the other two, and James might refuse his freedom under those conditions," said Monsignor Bernard Burns, who celebrated Mass at the Sault's Precious Blood Cathedral yesterday and offered prayers for the captives. "He's that type of man." But Burns had confidence in the peacemakers. "They are going through quite an ordeal right now, and it's only their strong faith that is holding them together," Burns said, adding "I have a gut feeling that they will be released."
One News - New Zealand
The family of an Auckland student held hostage in Iraq has decided not to travel to the Middle East. Harmeet Sooden's father and brother-in-law were planning to fly to Jordan, but they will now wait until they have news of his fate before travelling anywhere .... "Advice this far has been that we'll be little use sitting in a hotel room in Jordan and I think probably more practical use on the ground here trying to co-ordinate efforts for release," says [brother-in-law Mark] Brewer.
Ed Loney said he still couldn't quite get his head around the massive global outpouring of support for the captives and the work they were trying to do in the blood-soaked country. That’s why, he said, "everything is good" that comes out of the unfolding drama. "Whether my brother comes back to us alive or not, he is going to leave a legacy," said Loney.
"We are continuously monitoring the situation we are in touch with family," Dan McTeague, the parliamentary secretary for Canadians abroad, told CTV News. "We continue to work with our contacts in Iraq, including Iraqi authorities." Loney's brother Edward said his parents are finding solace in their spirituality and the network of family and friends that have reached out to them.
Loney's brothers said that, in scouring the media for news, they've discovered his fight against rights violations in Iraq and Palestine touched more lives than they ever imagined. "We know what he was like within our family," said Matthew Loney. "But we didn't know as much, nearly as much, as we could have known about his work."
The BBC's Caroline Hawley in Baghdad said it appeared it had not been possible to establish direct contact with the kidnappers, despite an Iraqi government effort to gather intelligence on them. BBC World Affairs Editor John Simpson, who is also in Baghdad, said it can take days before it is known what has happened to hostages after deadlines have passed.
The Guardian (UK)
Family, friends and colleagues of the kidnapped British peace activist Norman Kember were last night waiting and praying as his captors remained silent in the face of mounting appeals from the Muslim world for them to release the retired professor and three other Christian campaigners seized in Baghdad .... Chris Cole, director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, of which Mr Kember is a trustee, said: "The amount of people who have spoken out in their defence, and called for their release; it's miraculous. We are looking for a miracle at this stage, and in a sense it's already happening, with the broad spectrum of people who have called for their release. We just hope it will have an impact on those holding them."
******************** More SooToday.com coverage of Jim Loney
Saultite kidnapped, accused of spying in Iraq More on the Jim Loney story Saultites remember James Loney A tale of two fathers - by James Loney Statements from families of abducted peace activists World Council of Churches calls for James Loney's release The passionate Catholicism of James Loney Kidnappers to kill James Loney next week St. Gerard Majella to hold prayer service for Jim Loney Noam Chomsky fights for kidnapped Saultite Toronto fasts and prays for Jim Loney Loney family makes video for broadcast on Arab TV Pictures of a peacemaker Letters from James Loney's friends An old friend of Jim Loney's from Columbus Boys Camp Our family would like to express its deepest gratitude Deadline extended for James Loney Iraqi group kills U.S. security contractor More about James Loney Prayers for Jim Loney, from British Columbia From Iraq, only silence They're thinking of Jim Loney today in Grassy Narrows Jim Loney update A litany of resistance - by James Loney Plea to Those Who Abducted the Four, by Yorifumi Yaguchi Volunteers line up to join Christian Peacemaker Teams Jim Loney on Iraq, and treatment of Anishinaabe in Kenora New Zealand's prime minister worries about Iraq hostages