Rome Newsroom, Mar 31, 2021 / 12:00 pm America/Denver (CNA).
During his recent visit to Iraq, Pope Francis gave a donation of $350,000 to the Chaldean Catholic Church to support local families affected by conflict and the pandemic.
Cardinal Louis Raphaël Sako told Agenzia Fides that the pope’s gift was “intended to be a sign of how real and concrete is the pope’s love for all the Iraqi people.”
Sako, who is the Patriarch of Babylon and head of the Chaldean Catholic Church, said that $250,000 will be managed by the Chaldean Archdiocese of Baghdad. The remaining $100,000 has been divided between the Chaldean Archdiocese of Mosul and Syriac Catholics in Bakhdida, also known as Qaraqosh.
Sako said that the Church had already distributed 12,000 packages of food to people throughout the country, to “Christian and Muslim families, and those belonging to all the other faith communities present in Iraq.”
Pope Francis visited Iraq March 5-8. During the historic visit, he traveled to meet with Christians in Baghdad, Bakhdida (Qaraqosh), Erbil, and Mosul. He also met political and religious leaders, including Iraq’s top Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.