WASHINGTON (CNS) — Pope Francis’ upcoming apostolic visit to Iraq offers Americans a time for prayer and solidarity with the pope and the Iraqi people, said two leaders of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, USCCB president, and Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, Illinois, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, called on “all the faithful and people of goodwill in the United States to pray for the success and safety of Pope Francis’ apostolic journey to Iraq March 5-8,” in a statement released on the eve of the trip.
They also said the first papal visit to troubled Middle Eastern country “presents a critical opportunity to remember the suffering people of Iraq.”
“We share in the Holy Father’s message of solidarity with our Christian brothers and sisters who are a part of the rich and ancient cultural fabric of the region and yet have undergone great trials in recent years,” the prelates said.
Through prayer with Mary, the leaders added, the faithful can join together in “beseeching that the anticipated interreligious meetings will be marked by new pathways of mutual understanding and peace.”
“As Pope Francis exhorts in “Evangelii Gaudium,” may these encounters be marked by ‘an attitude of openness in truth and in love,'” the statement said.
The prelates concluded, “May this moment in history mark a renewed hope for the Church in Iraq, the rebuilding of this society and peaceful coexistence for all.”
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103