ASIA/IRAQ - Chaldean Patriarch Sako: Pandemic is not a "punishment from God"

Tuesday, 1 June 2021 middle east   oriental churches   prayer   marian devotion   pandemic

Baghdad (Agenzia Fides) - The Covid 19 pandemic, which caused pain and fear throughout the human family, "is not a punishment from God, but the result of people's wrong behavior towards the environment and life and their desperate search for money, which feeds the proliferation of weapons and prepares new wars". This is what Cardinal Raphael Louis Sako, Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, said in the homily he delivered during the liturgical celebration he presided over on the evening of May 31st in the Church dedicated to Saint Paul in the al-Zaafraniya district of Baghdad at the end prayer marathon convened by Pope Francis during the month of May to call for the end of the pandemic.
"In the face of the emergency of the pandemic", the Patriarch underlined "those responsible in the world must change their mentality, take on their responsibility and take responsibility for the future of humanity and the protection of the environment". Believers - the Primate of the Chaldean Church explained in his homily - know that God loves people and wants their salvation, and reject the idea that evil and pain are "God's punishment". Even in the pandemic - added the Iraqi Cardinal - as believers we can "trust in God, our Father", and embrace "the suffering of our brothers who suffer from the consequences of the infection". God himself, according to the Patriarch, "wants us to feel his loving closeness to us even while we are in anguish, and that we feel more and more attracted to him".
In conclusion, the Patriarch invited them to entrust themselves to the intercession of our Mother Mary, "who loves us and is our hope". (GV) (Agenzia Fides, 1/6/2021)