New Vatican ambassador to Iraq pledges to promote peace

.- The newly appointed Vatican Ambassador to Iraq and Jordan says his mission will be to promote peace in the area.

Archbishop Francis Assisi Chullikat , who was consecrated Sunday in a solemn ceremony in the southern Indian state of Kerala, has been serving at the Vatican’s Secretary of State as the first secretary in the Department for Relations between States.

“I am happy to go to the troubled country. I am sure it would provide me an opportunity to serve the Church with vigor and valor,” he told Indian Catholic News Service.

The new archbishop said the Catholic Church in Iraq, though small, is playing a vibrant role in human rights and humanitarian activities. The stance taken by the Missionaries of Charity not to abandon their post during the war bears ample testimony to this fact, he pointed out.

“Peace and reconciliation between all conflicting parties and religions is the main concern,” he told AsiaNews. “This task I am embarking on is not an easy one, but I humbly accept what has been entrusted to me.”

The nuncio’s motto will be Fide e Vertute, which means By the Power of Faith. “My firm faith is in God, who has been my guiding star since I became a priest, and who will be my only star in the future,” he said.

Born in 1953, Archbishop Chullikat did his priestly studies in Rome. He was ordained a priest in 1978, for the Archdiocese of Verapoly, and was eventually selected to join the Vatican diplomatic corps.

He has held diplomatic offices as a representative of the Holy See to several countries, as well as serving in the Vatican's office of Permenant Observer to the United Nations in New York


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