Cardinal Dolan then recalled hearing Archbishop Bashar Warda, who heads the Chaldean archdiocese of Erbil, Iraq, speak during one of the WYD sessions.
While it would be perfectly understandable for him to have "a nervous breakdown" given his current situation, Cardinal Dolan said that instead, Warda shared how in his nation "people are coming back to Christ."
"They've exhausted all other options. Politics isn't working, nations aren't coming to their aid, weapons have only exacerbated things. Reprisals, vindictiveness, anger, division. It ain't workin," the cardinal said, explaining that according to Warda, Iraqi Christians "are saying wow, we need our faith more than ever."
In July 29 comments to CNA, Cardinal Dolan said that he was moved "more than ever" by the testimony of a young Iraqi woman who spoke during the catechesis earlier that morning. She was born in a refugee camp in Turkey after her family was forced to leave their homes due to bombing in 1991.
While she and her family were eventually able to move to Detroit, several of her relatives still living in Iraq have been killed amid the country's ongoing violence and political instability. Though it's hard to forgive those who have murdered her relatives, she prays daily for ISIS' conversion.
Her story, the cardinal said, was especially impactful given his recent trip to Erbil in April of this year.
He again noted how, according to Archbishop Warda, "it's phenomenal" that Christianity in Iraq "is undergoing revival as it's being persecuted. As it's literally having it's head cut off, it's religion is being strengthened."
Despite the fact that many of these people have lost their homes, lost children, or had to leave their parents behind because they couldn't make the journey, they are still at Mass singing and building their homes and schools.
Recalling Warda's words, Dolan said this is because the only thing the people have left "is their faith, and they've learned, 'put not you trust in princes.'"
"You think they're going to trust politicians, they're going to trust weapons, they're going to trust reprisal, they're going to trust violence, they're going to trust blood oaths?" he asked. "No, all of them have bombed miserably, so they're saying what do we got?"
The answer, he said, is that "maybe we ought to start listening to the Gospel again, maybe we ought to take our faith seriously, so you see this revival there. It's phenomenal."
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It's this attitude he sees reflected in American Catholic youth in the run-up up to this year's presidential election, though not on quite as drastic of a scale.
"You saw this young lady today, if anybody should have been cynical, sarcastic, depressed, despaired, spitting in God's face, it was she," but "she's just the opposite isn't she? So you talk about inspiration, wow."