» 03/21/2013, 00.00
IRAQ - VATICAN
May the pope come to Iraq in the footsteps of Saint Francis, says Patriarch Sako
Mar Louis Raphael I Sako, patriarch of the Chaldean Church, extends an invitation to the pontiff when the two met this morning in the Vatican. The Holy Father is moved by the suffering of Iraqi Christians. Dialogue with Muslims is a priority.
Roma (AsiaNews) - As Saint San Francis travelled
to the East where he met Sultan Malik al-Kamil, so we hope Pope Francis "may
come to Iraq to confirm us our faith and give our small community in the land
of Abraham courage and hope," said His Beatitude Mar Louis Raphael I Sako during
an audience with the pontiff this morning in the Vatican. "Yes," answered the
pope, "with joy." The patriarch himself told AsiaNews about his meeting
with the Holy Father before leaving this afternoon for Baghdad. The head of the
Chaldean Church was in Rome for the pope's inaugural Mass in St Peter's Square last
The prelate said that he was "struck by the
pope's simplicity and spontaneity". He was very moved when the two talked about
the tragic fate of Iraqi Christians.
"I stood before a father and a first-class
pastor," the patriarch said. "When I told him that our land had to endure 950
martyrs and 57 churches attacked, he said: 'I feel pain for you.'"
Francis also asked him about his diocese, about
vocations in his country, tormented by ten years of violence and conflict
between Shias and Sunnis.
"He asked me to pray for him," the prelate
explained. "And I invited him to visit us in Iraq. The pontiff said he looks
forward to visiting our country, which is also where Abraham began his journey.
His visit would inspire us with courage and hope."
His Beatitude Mar Luis Raphael I took advantage
of the meeting to ask the pope to speak to Muslims, meeting them the way Saint
Francis did, stressing the importance of interfaith dialogue because "When the
head of the Church speaks to the Muslim world, we Christians are shown
appreciation and respect."
"We ended by praying together," the patriarch
said, "reciting Our Father and Hail Mary for Iraq." After that, "The pope gave
his blessing to all Iraqis present, priests, men and women religious as well as
lay people." (D.S.)
31/08/2016 15:14:00 IRAQ – VATICAN
Mar Sako: Islamic State’s threat against the pope is propaganda, moderate Islam is the real target
The Caliphate’s official magazine attacks Popes Francis and Benedict XVI, calls to break the Vatican’s cross. For Mar Sako, this is an attempt to "put pressure" on the West. Muslims who seek dialogue and reconciliation are at risk. Islam cannot know Christianity from the Qur’an. The Chaldean primate writes an open letter to Muslims to turn against the Islamic State “cancer”.
Chaldean Patriarch Sako tells Church: Be united in Christ to meet the mission's challenges
His Beatitude reminds the clergy that their task is to be "priests", that they belong to the "One" Church, which is not an NGO because "its core is Christ." He reiterates that their duty is to be "servants" and "pastors" of the community, and calls for transparency and rigour in financial matters.
02/12/2013 IRAQ - VATICAN
Mar Sako: the Pope in Iraq is a "necessity" for Christians hoping in a Syria-like "miracle"
The Chaldean Patriarch testifies to the "need" for solidarity and closeness to Iraq's Christian community. Muslims appreciate the Pope Francis' "symbolic gestures ", which enhance his "prophetic character". For Mar Sako, the Christian presence in the Middle East is "essential" and its "identity" must be preserved. The ordination of a priest and six new deacons are source of hope in this time of Advent.
28/04/2016 21:51:00 IRAQ
Patriarch Sako: Amoris Laetitia, a source of mercy and learning for Christians and Muslims
The Apostolic Exhortation contains essential elements for Christian families. It has also elicited “positive thoughts” among Muslims. For the Chaldean Patriarch, Islam too is waiting for something different on the family and spousal relations. Despite the war, few families have broken down, which is not the case for those who emigrated. Married priests could be a model for the whole Church.
11/01/2011 IRAQ - VATICAN
Iraqi bishop: Pope’s words encourage commitment to remain in our land
For Msgr. Sako Benedict XVI's speech is a source of "encouragement". Christians are"authentic" citizens and should enjoy "all rights" and the most important is religious freedom. "Religious fanaticism" is the greatest threat to the harmonious coexistence between different faiths, peace is based on freedom.
Pope: together with the faithful in China on 24 May to celebrate Our Lady of Sheshan
During the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis speaks about the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, instituted by Benedict XVI. Chinese Catholics must make a “personal contribution to communion among believers and to harmony in the whole society." AsiaNews Symposium on the Church in China is set for this week. Francis appeals for peace in the Central African Republic, and for loving “one another following the example of the Lord”. For him, “Sometimes conflicts, pride, envy, and divisions leave a blotch on the beautiful face of the Church.” Five new cardinals will be named, including a bishop from Laos.
May 24, 2017: 'China, the Cross is Red', AsiaNews Symposium
The event will be held to mark the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. A title with many meanings: the Cross is red from the blood of the martyrs; From attempts to suffocate the faith with state control; Bceause of the contribution of hope that Christianity gives to a population tired of materialism and consumerism that is seeking new moral criteria. The theme is also about the great and unexpected religious rebirth in the country. Guests to include: Card. Pietro Parolin, Msgr. Savio Hon, the sociologist of religions Richard Madsen, the testimonies of Chinese priests and laity.
24/05/2017 CHINA- VATICAN
19/05/2017 BANGLADESH - SAUDI ARABIA
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