Cardinal Filoni, on the Pope's trip to Iraq: Security will be guaranteed by the citizens

The cardinal remained in Baghdad during the bombings of the second Gulf War.

When the Second Gulf War began in 2003, most countries withdrew their ambassadors from Baghdad. The Vatican, which has always opposed the war, decided that the Nuncio, now Cardinal Fernando Filoni, should resist the American bombing of Iraq. 

CARD. FERNANDO FILONI
Grand Master, Order of the Holy Sepulchre
“Having lived this experience with them has helped them see that we don’t leave because there is a war, we don’t abandon them. The Church always offers solidarity.”

Next March the pope will travel to Iraq. There he will visit Mosul, the city that was under ISIS control for more than a year. A possible challenge to the safety of the pope’s visit.

CARD. FERNANDO FILONI
Grand Master, Order of the Holy Sepulchre
“If we are talking about risks, we should not go there. The authorities will do everything possible to make it a safe trip. I believe that, as has happened on other occasions, it will be the citizens themselves who will guarantee safety. It is something that goes beyond police deployment or political strategy.” 

To those who think it would have been preferable to wait for a moment of greater stability in the country, Cardinal Filoni has a clear answer. 

CARD. FERNANDO FILONI
Grand Master, Order of the Holy Sepulchre
We should not consider traveling to this country that, little by little, tries to find its path, only when the road is quiet, without obstacles. It is contrary to all logic, especially the logic of the Christian Church. We are with the people. If the people suffer, we share the suffering with them.

The pope’s presence in Iraq next March will also facilitate greater respect for religious minorities in that country.

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