Catholics in Iraq Celebrate 25th Anniversary of John Paul II’s Pontificate

With prayer and thanksgiving the Catholic Church in Iraq celebrated with joy the 25th Anniversary of John Paul II’s pontificate.  According to the Fides news agency, Fr. Nizar Seeman, a Syrian priest of the Diocese of Nineveh, “In every Mass Iraqui Christians affectionately prayed for the Pope.”

“Many Christian families gathered together on Sunday afternoon for prayer and thanksgiving to the Lord who has given us the great gift of this Pope, who has been so concerned to the needs of our country.  All Iraqis, Christians and Muslims alike, thank the Pope for his work for peace and for his respect for human rights,” Father Nizar said in his interview with Fides.

At the same time, Father Nizar expressed the joy of the Iraqi people at the steps being taken to bring normalcy back to the country, especially through the recently approved UN resolution that seeks to ensure a transfer of power back to the Iraqis:  “We are happy because the way is being paved, however difficult, for Iraq normalcy to return to Iraq,” he said.

The resolution unanimously approved by the Security Council supports the leadership of the United States in the country’s transitional phase, but calls for the return to Iraqi sovereignty and self-governance as soon as possible.

Although the resolution has not established a specific timeline for the transition to a civil Iraqi civil administration, it calls on Iraqi leaders to prepare a proposal for a new constitution and organized elections by December 15.  The UN has promised to reinforce its role in the political and economical reconstruction of the country.

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