- Jun 18, 2021
Pope Francis is pushing ahead with the first papal trip to Iraq despite rising coronavirus infections, hoping to encourage the country’s dwindling number of Christians who were violently persecuted during the Islamic State’s insurgency while seeking to boost ties with the Shiite Muslim world.
Scotland’s bishops say they would “warmly welcome” Pope Francis if he visited Glasgow later this year for a major UN climate summit.
Iraqi youth Safa Al Alqoshy, who met Pope Francis while in Rome in 2018 for the Synod of Bishops on young people, is now excited to welcome the pope to his home country.
Iraq’s Christian communities were dealt a severe blow when they were scattered by the IS onslaught in 2014, further shrinking the country’s already dwindling Christian population. Many hope their struggle to endure will get a boost from a historic visit by Pope Francis planned in March.
A priest from Qaraqosh helping to prepare the city’s youth for Pope Francis’s visit next month has said the fact that a pope is coming has shown young people that the Church, which can often seem far away, is close to them.
Despite widespread speculation that Pope Francis and top Shi’a cleric Grand Ayatollah Al-Sistani will sign a document on human fraternity during their meeting in Iraq next month, an Iraqi state official has said the rumors are false.
The largest Syriac Catholic congregation in the world is preparing physically and spiritually for Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to Qaraqosh, Iraq.
On Monday the Vatican released a busy itinerary for Pope Francis’s upcoming visit to Iraq, the publication of which coincided with a flare-up of protests throughout the country with demonstrators calling for political reform.