- Apr 13, 2021
Pope Francis has sent a letter to Iraqi Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako voicing thanks for his visit to Iraq last month and praising the local church for its charitable activities and its role in working to rebuild the country.
One month after Pope Francis’s historic visit to Iraq, one of the country’s top Catholic prelates has made the bold suggestion of enforcing a stricter separation between religion and the state.
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.
Pope Francis hopes to embark on the first-ever papal visit to the biblical land of Iraq in March 5-8 in a spiritual pilgrimage to the place known in Arabic as the “land of the two rivers” and once renowned as Mesopotamia, the “cradle of civilization.”
Rockets fired in Erbil, a city in Iraq’s Kurdistan region Pope Francis is scheduled to visit March 7, is yet another hurdle in a long list that cast a shadow over the first papal trip since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
If Pope Francis’s awaited trip to Iraq in March goes through as planned, he will likely meet the country’s top spiritual leader for Shiite Muslims, marking a significant step in his pursuit of interfaith dialogue.
Despite renewed security concerns after a series of recent terrorist attacks, one of Iraq’s top prelates has said preparations for Pope Francis’s upcoming visit are still underway.
Two deadly suicide bombs rocked Baghdad Thursday morning, casting further doubt on Pope Francis’s upcoming March visit as concerns over security and the risks surrounding the coronavirus increase.