- Apr 16, 2021
During a recent visit with the Catholic community in Iraq, Franciscan Father Dave Pivonka, president of the Franciscan University of Steubenville, said he and his university colleagues saw firsthand how strong the Catholic faith is in that country, even after decades of strife and violence, and how it is reemerging.
One of Iraq’s top Church officials has praised the recent return of several confiscated properties belonging to Christians and other minorities, saying the move is one that could hasten the return of families who left the country due to injustice and persecution.
Political leaders had “very nice words” during Pope Francis’s early March trip to Iraq, but now Christians pray “that those words, those declarations, will be applied on the daily level, on the ground,” said Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan.
Food, cooking fuel, jobs and, especially, hope are hard to come by in Syria, said two Catholic leaders reflecting on the 10th anniversary of the war.
In the throes of a collapsing economy exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic and devastation from the catastrophic Beirut port blast last August, Lebanon is sinking further into a dire situation.
Israeli archaeologists on Tuesday announced the discovery of dozens of Dead Sea Scroll fragments bearing a biblical text found in a desert cave and believed hidden during a Jewish revolt against Rome nearly 1,900 years ago.
Ten years after Syria’s bloody civil war began, the country remains in the throes of a massive economic and social crisis with rampant poverty being the next major battle it faces.
As the dust settles on Pope Francis’s historic March 5-8 visit to Iraq, people in the troubled country inspired by what they saw and heard from the pontiff are hoping his message has last impact.