ASIA/IRAQ - Chaldean Patriarch Sako: it is wrong to expect that the Pope's visit will solve all our problems

Wednesday, 17 February 2021 middle east   oriental churches   pope francis   migrants   area crisis  

Baghdad (Agenzia Fides) - Pope Francis "is not coming to Iraq to solve all the problems" that the local Christian communities are facing. It certainly does not depend on him to bring back "Christians who emigrated abroad" to Iraq, or "to recover their usurped properties". Rather, it is up to the Iraqi government to "create the conditions for return", stressed the Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako who wanted to respond with an official statement to those he himself indicated as "criticisms in social media" in view of the upcoming papal visit to Iraq, scheduled for March 5 to 8. In the brief statement, released by the official channels of the Chaldean Patriarchate, the Patriarch stated that the Pope "will not be able to visit all the shrines", but at the same time he highlighted the strong symbolic importance of the places that will be touched by the papal visit - including Ur, Najaf, Mosul and Quaraqosh - where the bishop of Rome will be able to spread "words of love, brotherhood, reconciliation, tolerance and respect for life, diversity and pluralism".
During these days, the Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako will receive representatives from institutions, political parties as well as social and religious groups who all want to express their own interest and satisfaction in view of the next papal visit. Among other things, the patriarch received a delegation from the Shiite political alliance al Hikma ("National Current of Wisdom") and MP Saib Khidir, who represented the Yazidi minority. (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 17/2/2021)