Home Abortion Aids & Hiv Euthanasia Homosexuality Lebanon Natural Family Planning Contact Me   
Daily News  »
Photo Album  »
Arabic Church News
Arabic Church Titles
Arabic Encyclopedia
Catechism of the Catholic Church
Church History
Code of Eastern Canon Law
Code of Western Canon Law
Council for Justice and Peace
Papal Documents
Papal Encyclicals
Paths of the Spirit
Pontifical Academy for Life
The 21 Ecumenical Councils
The Catholic Encyclopedia
The Encyclopedia of Philosophy
The Fathers of the Church
The Holy Father
The II Vatican Council
The List of Popes
The Mysteries of the Rosary
Way of the Cross
Question and Answer
- Faith FAQs
Your name:
Your email:
   Subscribe Unsubscribe
Latest Posts
- Liturgy Q&A: More on Pro Populo Masses
- Liturgy Q&A: Proper Use of the Cincture
- Liturgy Q&A: Confirmation Names
- Liturgy Q&A: Children’s Homilies
- Liturgy Q&A: Shining a Spotlight on a Monstrance
-  Voice of Charity Taratil
- Charity TV Live
- Radio Maria
- Voice of Charity Live - Lebanon
Slide Shows & Movies
- Psalm 23
- Be United Against...
- You Are Mine
- Abortion
- Mother Teresa
- Promise
  January 2022  
Number Of Visitors:
Iraq: Cardinal Sako says ‘something has already changed’ in the nation
Cardinal Louis Sako speaks to the media about the preparations for Pope Francis' arrival in Iraq03 March 2021. Awaiting Pope Francis’ arrival in Iraq on Friday, 5 March, Iraqis of all faiths are preparing to welcome him. The Chaldean Patriarch, Cardinal Sako, says hopes are high for a spiritual renewal in the name of fraternity.

By Stefano Leszczynski & Linda Bordoni

Pope Francis’s 33rd visit abroad takes him to Iraq from 5 to 8 March. This Apostolic Journey will begin in the capital, Baghdad, where the Pope is scheduled to meet political and civil authorties and representatives of the Catholic Church. He will then travel south to the holy city of Najaf to meet the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, a leading Iraqi Shia Muslim, as well as religious leaders and communities of other faiths.

For Iraq’s small Christian community, the highlight of the trip will be the Pope’s visit to the north of the country, where thousands of Christians in the area were killed under the rule of so-called Islamic State between 2014 and 2017.

Hundreds of thousands more were forced to flee their homes in the face of violence and persecution. Here, he will visit the cities of Erbil, Mosul and Qaraqosh to meet people who are trying to rebuild their communities and churches.

The Pope will return to Rome on Monday, 8 March.

Iraqi Cardinal Louis Raphaël Sako, Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, told Vatican Radio’s Stefano Leszczynski that, as the entire population prepares to welcome Pope Francis, something has already changed in the nation.

Christians and Muslims alike, said Cardinal Sako, are busy preparing posters of greetings, and all media outlets are saying “Welcome Pope Francis! We are happy to welcome you!”

The Cardinal recalled a recent conversation with a Muslim lady, who described this visit as “our last hope.” He said, “something is changing and moving” within Iraqi society, and there is the hope the Pope’s presence will serve also to help prepare a better future for all.

Aside from all the logistic preparations and the cleaning up of streets and cities, Cardinal Sako remarked on how Christians are preparing their churches and other spaces for the celebrations of Masses and meetings, everywhere the Pope is scheduled to go.

He underscored how one of the focuses of the journey will be on fraternity: “A spiritual fraternity,” which he said will be especially highlighted when the Holy Father travels to Ur, the birthplace of Abraham.

Also in the forefront, Cardinal Sako continued, is the interreligious aspect of the journey that foresees, amongst others, a meeting with the Ayatollah Al-Sistani: “It will have a big impact for Christians and Muslims.”

A model of reconciliation for the Middle East?

Asked whether he thinks Iraq can become an example of reconciliation in the Middle East, the Chaldean Patriarch said: “This is our hope. Meanwhile, everyone now is ready to take the first step.”

Certainly, he concluded, the people of Iraq really seem to be preparing the ground as everyone, the government and all religious authorities, as well as Muslims, both Sunni and Shia - and Christians of course - together with the entire population, are enthusiastically “preparing, awaiting and expecting this visit.”