The Significance of Pope Francis’ Historic Trip to Iraq

Pope Francis arrives for an open air Mass at a stadium in Irbil, Iraq, March 7, 2021 (AP photo by Hadi Mizban).
Pope Francis arrives for an open air Mass at a stadium in Irbil, Iraq, March 7, 2021 (AP photo by Hadi Mizban).

Pope Francis traveled to Iraq earlier this month, his first trip overseas since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and the first-ever papal visit to the war-torn country. Francis said he wrestled with concerns that the three-day visit could facilitate the spread of COVID-19, but ultimately deemed it a worthwhile opportunity to encourage and show solidarity with Iraq’s dwindling Christian minority. During his travels, the pontiff also highlighted a number of issues that he has devoted considerable attention to throughout his papacy, including poverty, interfaith dialogue and conflict resolution. Joshua McElwee, the Vatican correspondent and international news editor for the […]

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