Catholic Church in Iraq

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Pope Francis gives his address at the Presidential Palace in Baghdad March 5, 2021. Photo credits: Vatican Media.

Full text: Pope Francis’ address to the Iraqi authorities, civil society, and diplomatic corps

Mar 5, 2021

Here is the full prepared text of Pope Francis’ address to the Iraqi authorities, civil society, and the diplomatic corps,... Read more

Pope Francis addresses local authorities at the Presidential Palace in Baghdad. Credit: Vatican Media.

Pope Francis in Iraq: ‘The name of God cannot be used to justify acts of murder’

Mar 5, 2021

By Courtney Mares

In his first speech in Iraq, Pope Francis called for an end to violence and extremism so that ordinary Iraqis... Read more

Pope Francis boards the papal plane to Iraq on March 5, 2021. Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA.

Pope Francis meets with Iraqi refugees before flight to Baghdad

Mar 5, 2021

By Courtney Mares

Pope Francis met with Iraqi refugees in Rome early Friday before his flight to Baghdad.  Read more

Pope Francis prays before the Salus Populi Romani icon in Rome’s Basilica of St. Mary Major Dec. 8, 2020. Credit: Vatican Media.

Pope Francis entrusts Iraq trip to Virgin Mary’s protection

Mar 4, 2021

By Hannah Brockhaus

On the eve of his departure for a three-day trip to Iraq, Pope Francis visited a Rome basilica to ask... Read more

The restored Marian statue damaged by Islamic State during its occupation of Karamles, Iraq. Photo credits: Rocchi/SIR.

Pope Francis will bless this Virgin Mary statue desecrated by Islamic State

Mar 4, 2021

By Courtney Mares

Iraqi Catholics have asked Pope Francis to bless a statue of the Virgin Mary that was desecrated by the Islamic... Read more

Pope Francis at a Wednesday general audience in St. Peter's Square on June 17, 2015. Credit: Bohumil Petrik.

Pope Francis says he is coming to Iraq as ‘a pilgrim of peace’

Mar 4, 2021

By Courtney Mares

A day before he departs for Baghdad, Pope Francis sent a video message to the Iraqi people, saying that he... Read more

Children of families that sought refuge in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, April 11, 2015. Credit: Mazur/

Christians and Muslims alike welcome Pope Francis' trip to Iraq

Mar 3, 2021

By Courtney Mares

Iraqi Christians and Muslims alike have expressed excitment for Pope Francis’ upcoming trip to Iraq, an aid worker based in... Read more

Pope Francis delivers a general audience address in the library of the Apostolic Palace. Credits: Vatican Media.

Pope Francis calls for end to ‘bloody clashes’ in Burma

Mar 3, 2021

Pope Francis appealed on Wednesday for an end to “bloody clashes” and the release of political leaders in Burma.  Read more

Archbishop Bashar Warda, the Chaldean Archbishop of Erbil at the Chaldean cathedral in Erbil, Iraq, April 12, 2015. Credit: Mazur/

Archbishop Warda: With papal visit, world will see ‘joyful people’ of Iraq

Mar 2, 2021

By Hannah Brockhaus

The Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Erbil said he hopes with Pope Francis’ visit to Iraq, the world will see a... Read more

Pope Francis celebrates daily Mass in the chapel of Casa Santa Marta on Thursday, May 14, 2020. Credit: Vatican Media/CNA.

Apostolic nuncio in Iraq tests positive for COVID-19 five days before papal trip

Feb 28, 2021

By CNA Staff

The apostolic nunciature in Iraq reported on Sunday, Feb. 28 that the Nuncio Mitja Leskovar, has tested positive for COVID... Read more

The official logo of Pope Francis' visit to Iraq. Credit: Saint-Adday.

Where is Pope Francis going in Iraq and why? A CNA Explainer

Feb 25, 2021

By Courtney Mares

In a week’s time Pope Francis is expected to make history by becoming the first pope to travel to Iraq.... Read more

Cardinal Fernando Filoni. Photo credits: Daniel Ibáñez/CNA.

Former Vatican ambassador in Baghdad looks ahead to Pope Francis’ trip to Iraq

Feb 23, 2021

By Courtney Mares

When Cardinal Fernando Filoni served as the papal nuncio in Iraq in the early 2000s, he remained in Baghdad amid... Read more

The Iraqi flag. Credit: Alyaa99 (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Pope Francis’ visit to Iraq comes as country faces ‘multiple crises’

Feb 17, 2021

By Courtney Mares

Pope Francis’ trip to Iraq comes at a time when the country faces severe political, socioeconomic, and security challenges. The... Read more

An Iraqi Catholic wears a facemark at a Mass in Baghdad on Dec. 24, 2020. Credit: Ahmad al-Rubaye/Getty Images/CNA.

Iraqi government imposes COVID restrictions weeks before papal visit

Feb 15, 2021

By Courtney Mares

The Iraqi government has announced new COVID-19 restrictions, including the closure of all places of worship, less than three weeks... Read more

Fr. Georges Jahola in Al-Tahira church in Bakhdida in November 2016, shortly after the town's liberation. Photo courtesy of Fr. Jahola.

Pope Francis to visit Iraqi cathedral burned by Islamic State

Feb 8, 2021

By Courtney Mares

The Great Al-Tahira Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Bakhdida was charred black inside after the Islamic State set it aflame after... Read more

Pope Francis pictured at the general audience at the Vatican April 17, 2013. Credit: Mazur/

Pope Francis to meet top Shiite cleric on Iraq visit, says cardinal

Jan 28, 2021

By Courtney Mares

Pope Francis will meet with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani during his trip to Iraq, a cardinal said on Thursday  Read more

Patriarch Louis Raphaël Sako speaks at an Aid to the Church in Need press conference in Rome, Sept. 28, 2017. Credit: Daniel Ibáñez/CNA.

Cardinal calls for 3-day ‘Nineveh fast’ for return to peace and stability in Iraq

Jan 26, 2021

By Courtney Mares

Chaldean Catholics in Iraq are undertaking a three-day “Nineveh fast” this week to pray for peace and security in their... Read more

Pope Francis, pictured on October 4, 2014.

Pope Francis sends condolences after 32 killed in suicide bombings in Iraq

Jan 21, 2021

By Courtney Mares

Pope Francis said on Thursday that he was praying for the victims of two suicide bombings in Baghdad, which took place... Read more

Mass at the Chaldean Cathedral in Erbil, Iraq, on April 12, 2015. Credit: Mazur/

Iraqi Catholics urged to pray at Sunday Masses that Pope Francis will be able to visit country

Jan 14, 2021

A cardinal has called on Iraqi Catholics to pray at Sunday Masses that Pope Francis will be able to visit... Read more

Archbishop Bashar Warda, pictured on Feb. 11, 2015. Credit: Mazur/

Catholic archbishop: papal visit could ‘change trajectory’ of Christian presence in Iraq

Dec 18, 2020

By Courtney Mares

Iraqi Archbishop Bashar Warda has said that Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to the country could be a turning point for... Read more