• Friday, Sep 24, 2021
  • Last Update : 09:44 pm

Pope Francis departs Iraq after historic trip

  • Published at 04:56 pm March 8th, 2021
pope francis iraq
Pope Francis bows in farewell to his hosts before boarding his Alitalia Airbus A330 aircraft as he departs from the Iraqi capital's Baghdad International Airport on Sunday, March 8, 2021. AFP

In his packed three full days in Iraq, the Pope made more than a half-dozen speeches in nearly as many cities

Pope Francis concluded on Monday the first-ever papal trip to Iraq, which went off without a hitch despite security worries and a second wave of coronavirus cases in the country.

The 84-year-old pontiff covered more than 1,400 kilometres inside the country, bringing encouragement to its diminished Christian community and extending a hand to Shia Muslims by meeting top cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani.

"In my time among you, I have heard voices of sorrow and loss, but also voices of hope and consolation," Francis said on Sunday, concluding his last public event.  

"Now the time draws near for my return to Rome. Yet Iraq will always remain with me, in my heart."

In his packed three full days in Iraq, the Pope made more than a half-dozen speeches in nearly as many cities, repeatedly evoking hope and fraternity.

In Baghdad on Friday, he called for an end to violence and extremism and urged officials to do more to fight corruption.

Francis called the minority Yazidis "innocent victims of senseless and brutal atrocities," following the Islamic State group's rampage against their esoteric community in 2014.

He also met members of Iraq's other minorities in a moving interfaith ceremony at Ur, where the Prophet Abraham is thought to have been born. 

On Saturday, he held an extraordinary meeting with the reclusive but highly respected Sistani, who afterwards said Iraq's Christians should have the right to live in "peace."

Francis' full day in Iraq's war-battered north on Sunday embodied a cause close to his heart -- supporting traumatised Christians.

There, he said the "tragic" exodus of Christians "does incalculable harm not just to the individuals and communities concerned, but also to the society they leave behind."

54
Facebook 54
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail