After a day of prayer and reflection with Lebanon’s Christian leaders, Pope Francis urged political leaders in the country to set aside partisan interests that have devastated the country.
When Michael La Civita of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association considers how the agency prioritizes where to send aid, he says the best way to describe it is like a “triage,” given the crises so many countries face.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Father Naim Shoshandy has plenty of reasons to be angry: On March 23, 2014, the terrorist organization known as Islamic State murdered his 27-year-old brother, for no other reason other than the fact that he was a Christian.
Anti-Christian persecution is on the rise, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report.