One month after Pope Francis’s historic visit to Iraq, one of the country’s top Catholic prelates has outlined his vision for the country going forward, making the bold suggestion of enforcing a stricter separation between religion and the state.
Pope Francis’s recent trip to Iraq will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on the country in ways that only time will tell. However, in the immediate aftermath, significant developments are already being seen.
On March 7, Pope Francis concluded a three-day whirlwind tour of Iraq that took him to six cities, saw him deliver seven speeches, and marked several historic firsts.
Abdullah Kurdi, the father of the young refugee boy who death five years ago woke the world up to the reality of the migration crisis, has described his recent meeting with Pope Francis as the best birthday present that he’s ever received.
March 8 marks the end of Pope Francis’ emblematic trip to Iraq — it’s been filled with many firsts for the only pontiff to visit the Land of Abraham. There were places to go, people to meet, stories to tell and, of course, lessons on human fraternity to learn. Here’s a look at some of the highlights.
In his latest in-flight news conference, Pope Francis said Monday he’s not afraid to be called a ‘heretic’ for engaging in dialogue with Muslims; that he felt “imprisoned” during COVID-19 lockdowns; he was “shocked” by the destruction he witnessed in the Iraqi city of Mosul March 7; and, on international Women’s Day, expressed regret over the exploitation of women, including the practice of genital mutilation.
Pope Francis’ 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.
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.
On the same day that 10 rockets hit an air base in Iraq, Pope Francis said he had to travel to the country because he could not disappoint them.
Pope Francis traveled to Iraq on a first-ever pontiff visit to the birthplace of the biblical figure of Abraham. The Pope’s mission during the three day visit is three-fold: encouraging the Christian community, long- time victim of persecution and extremism; pursuing dialogue with Shia Islam; and encountering the Iraqi nation as a whole.