- Apr 16, 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.
Several top Church officials in Syria, including the Vatican’s ambassador to the country, have praised Pope Francis’s visit to Iraq earlier this month, saying the visit sent a message of hope to the entire region.
The meeting between Pope Francis and Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali al-Husaymi al-Sistani can make a difference in America, says Cardinal Wilton Gregory, because it demonstrated “that people from different religious traditions can work together in a spirit of dialogue and mutual respect.”
A top papal aide has praised Pope Francis’s meeting with Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali al-Husaymi al-Sistani while in Iraq earlier this month has been praised by a top papal aide as a significant step forward in Catholic relations with Shia Islam.
Despite years of suffering due to war and terrorism, the people of Iraq continue to look to the future with hope, Pope Francis said.
Even though Pope Francis has left Iraq, there have been several significant developments in the country that observers are already crediting to the papal visit.
From his experience in Iraq in 2018, Monsignor Kieran Harrington doesn’t look at one stop, or moment, from Pope Francis’ trip to Iraq as most significant. Rather, it’s the fact that the Holy Father was there in the first place.
Pope Francis’s historic visit to the Middle East’s most conflict-riven nation gives hope and comfort to Iraqis of all faiths, and some would even say to Arabs beyond Iraq’s borders.