CNA Staff, Jan 14, 2021 / 06:00 am
A cardinal has called on Iraqi Catholics to pray at Sunday Masses that Pope Francis will be able to visit their country in March.
Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako, head of the Chaldean Catholic Church, issued the prayer on Jan. 14 amid uncertainty about whether the papal trip will take place as planned.
The cardinal invited Iraq’s Catholics to recite the following prayer from Sunday, Jan. 17: “Lord our God, grant Pope Francis health and safety to carry out successfully this eagerly awaited visit.”
“Bless his effort to promote dialogue, enhance fraternal reconciliation, build confidence, consolidate peace values and human dignity, especially for us Iraqis who have been through painful ‘events’ that affected our lives.”
“Please our Lord and Creator, enlighten our hearts with Your light, to recognize goodness and peace, and to realize them.”
“Mother Mary, we entrust Pope Francis’ visit to your maternal care so that the Lord may grant us the grace of living in a complete national communion, and cooperate fraternally to build a better future for our country and our citizens. Amen.”
The Chaldean Catholic Church is one of the 23 autonomous Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the pope. It is one of the main Christian communities in Iraq, alongside Syriac, Armenian, Assyrian, and Arab Christians.
In a television interview on Sunday, Pope Francis expressed doubt about whether he would be able to visit the war-torn Middle Eastern country.