ASIA/IRAQ - Easter and pandemic, message from Patriarch Sako: May the Lord protect Iraq and the world

Monday, 6 April 2020 middle east   oriental churches   easter   coronavirus

Baghdad (Agenzia Fides) - In the days preceding Easter, Christians "are not able to celebrate these important liturgical events" as they used to do annually due to the current situation, but "they keep praying at their homes" making their hope as a real “Pass-Over” from darkness to light, from fragility to strength; from illness to health". This is what Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako writes in a message released in view of Easter and also sent to Agenzia Fides.
In this time, which also sees the Easter celebrations marked by the scourge of the pandemic crisis - says the Iraqi Cardinal - "Everyone must analyze their own behavior. Self-criticism should be everyone’s “duty”, since morals have been falling back, marked by corruption, greed, stealing public money, violence, threats, murders, displacement, divorce, abortion, etc... we have distanced God from our world, "using him" as a tool for our unworthy behaviors"- continues the Patriarch, adding that the Easter and Corona lesson is nothing more than an invitation for a full conversion "to God to the principles of our faith, spirituality and real morals".
The many evils that afflict the present - the Primate of the Chaldean Church points out - also call into question the responsibility and the desirable self-criticism of those who exercise power: "Coronavirus outbreak as well as wars and conflicts in more than one Country, leaving thousands of dead and injured victims, millions of displaced people and massive damage to infrastructure, must be a moment of reflection in reviewing, analysing and criticising their policies and strategies. It is time to correct their approaches and find the right solutions for respecting life in all its forms; protect the environment by fighting pollution and climate change; and stop encouraging deadly weapons production that generate death".
The Patriarch, referring to the Encyclical Laudato Sì “on caring for our Common House”, recalls the urgency of a "Global plan to build a more peaceful and prosperous society", and concludes with the wish of "a blessed Easter and a prompt recovery from the coronavirus infection", and may "the Lord protect Iraq and the whole world". (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 6/4/2020)