- Apr 16, 2021
Although the impact of papal trips is often hard to assess in the immediate aftermath, such cautions mean little to the leader of Iraq’s local Catholic church, who quickly proclaimed Pope Francis’s March 5-8 visit to his nation a “miracle” on Sunday.
Pope Francis is set to become the first pontiff to set a foot in Iraq on Friday, when he lands in Baghdad after a four-hour trip from Rome.
The 1,200 Chaldean Catholic families who live in Arizona are thousands of miles from the land of their birth. On March 5, their hearts will turn toward their native Iraq.
Pope Francis said his upcoming trip to Iraq would be an important sign of his concern for the region’s Christians, but also an important opportunity to build fraternity through interreligious dialogue.
St. Peter’s Chaldean Catholic Cathedral in El Cajon, the seat of the Eparchy of St. Peter the Apostle, and a Syriac Catholic church nearby, Our Mother of Perpetual Help, were found defaced with all kinds of graffiti the morning of Sept. 26.
Iraqi Christian priests warn that the latest Turkish military attacks in northern Iraq are displacing Christians and exacerbating a precarious security situation.
An Iraqi archbishop who helped save hundreds of ancient manuscripts from being destroyed by Islamic State militants was among the nominees for the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize.
Christians and Muslims hope a project to reconstruct Mosul’s iconic places of worship, badly damaged by Islamic State militants during their 2014-2017 occupation of the city, will also help to rebuild trust between Iraq’s fractured religious communities.