Pope Francis donates $350,000 to pandemic-stricken Iraqi families

Pope’s visit to Mosul is ‘symbolic’ says reporter

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The Pontiff made the donation to Iraqi people suffering the economic crisis brought on by the worldwide tragedy. Cardinal Louis Sako, the patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Baghdad, thanked the Pope for helping the community.

He spoke to Fides, the news agency of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, about the extraordinary contribution.

He said: ”The donation is intended to be a sign of how real and concrete the Pope’s love for all the Iraqi people is.

“Of the total sum.

“250 thousand dollars will be managed by Baghdad, while 50 thousand dollars have been sent to the Chaldean archdiocese of Mosul and another 50 thousand to the Syrian Catholic archdiocese which includes Qaraqosh”.

The patriarch added that Iraq’s Catholic bishops had the “joyful” responsibility of supporting people on behalf of the Pontiff.

He pointed out that they should not make a difference on who they help based on ethnic or religious differences.

The Pope travelled to Iraq earlier this month despite a surge in terror attacks and coronavirus infections in previous weeks.

The trip marked the first visit from a head of the Catholic Church to Iraq, after he was previously set to visit in 2020.

It had been postponed since last year after it was cancelled over coronavirus pandemic concerns.

Pope John Paul II, who was set to travel to Iraq in 2000, had his trip cancelled due to security fears.

Pope Francis’ trip to Iraq is seen as hugely significant to the less than 400,000 Christians in the country, who face persecution and violence.

President Barham Saleh officially invited the Pontiff to visit Iraq in July 2019 in hopes it would help the nation “heal”.

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