The roughly 30-minute private meeting included conversation about the papal visit to Iraq in March.
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Franciscan Father Dave Pivonka went on the papal journey to Iraq at the invitation of Erbil Archbishop Bashar Warda.
While they are joyful and grateful for the visit, they also stress the importance of building on the pilgrimage’s momentum in order to secure lasting improvement.
An offering of friendship and welcome
Pope Francis became the first pope to visit Iraq in the 2,000-year history of the papacy and electrified the country with a message of unity and peace.
The pope dedicated Wednesday’s general audience to the Iraq trip, pausing his long-running cycle of catechesis on prayer.
A statement afterward from al-Sistani’s office said that the cleric affirmed that the country’s Christian citizens should, like all Iraqis, be able to live in security and peace, freely exercising their constitutional rights.
The beatification causes of the 48 Catholics who died inside the Cathedral of Our Lady of Salvation in 2010 advanced from the diocesan phase to the Vatican in October 2019.
Speaking with Register this week, Chaldean Archbishop Michaeel Najeeb of Mosul says the Holy Father’s March 5-8 trip to his troubled nation is badly needed, despite the risks involved.