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Pope urges Iraq to embrace its Christians on historic visit

22 Comments
By NICOLE WINFIELD and SAMYA KULLAB

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The Catholic Church should open olio its coffers and help the Christians in Iraq and the rest of the ME. It’s not as if the Catholic Church couldn’t afford to help hundreds of thousands of people with all the cash it has.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Since the 2003 U.S. invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, it has seen vicious sectarian violence between Shiites and Sunni Muslims, clashes and tensions between Arabs and Kurds, and militant atrocities against minorities like Christians and Yazidis.

The Bush/big oil/big defense invasion of Iraq made America's 1% richer. While millions suffered. Stop wars for oil, gas and their shipments. Stop burning so much oil and gas.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Pope Francis is a bridge-builder. "We cannot express our joy because this for sure is a historic event which we will keep remembering. All Iraqis are happy, not just the Christians. We hope it will be a blessed day for us and for all the Iraqi people” - Rafif Issa.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The wars were definitely a mistake now looking back in hindsight, it was a mistake with the one exception of getting Saddam out we should never send our men and women to fight and die for oil. Both parties have blood on their hands from Bush and the GOP to the Democrats that signed off on it, there’s enough blame to go around. We need to use the resources we already have to wean ourselves off of the Mideast once and for all and while we use our resources in the meantime, we need to create better, cleaner and more lasting fuel alternatives. These wars have given anger and pointed the finger to millions of Christians whose lives were unnecessarily lost because they were used as scapegoats to expand an Islamic Caliphate. The Washington elite didn’t do enough to protect the Christian minorities as well as other small religious minorities and just left them to their own demise. Millions fled, millions were rejected and millions died, we should never allow this to happen again and I hope Washington as well as some of the more moderate Muslim leaders can come together with the Pope and Christians and forge an new path of tolerance and acceptance.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

The Washington elite didn’t do enough to protect the Christian minorities as well as other small religious minorities and just left them to their own demise. Millions fled, millions were rejected and millions died, we should never allow this to happen again

Someone’s advocating for the US to get further bogged down in the ME. Weird given you praised Trump for keeping us out of foreign wars and abandoning our Kurdish allies in Syria whilst lambasting Obama for drone strikes and Biden for the recent missile strikes on Syria.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Someone’s advocating for the US to get further bogged down in the ME.

Exactly, so why is Biden trying to ONCE AGAIN start troop buildup in Iraq and keep our troops forever in bogged down in the Mideast.

Weird given you praised Trump for keeping us out of foreign wars and abandoning our Kurdish allies in Syria

Sorry, I don’t. I do think we owe a lot of the Kurds, and there should have been a better way to protect them, but at the end of the day it’s the US troops that needed to leave that country and it was our American troops that ultimately I was more concerned about.

whilst lambasting Obama for drone strikes and Biden for the recent missile strikes on Syria.

When Trump decided to end the life of Iran’s most senior terrorist military leader that was responsible for the lives of hundreds of Americans (and good riddance to Soleimani) liberals had an aneurism, the same with Al Baghdadi and with the exception of Obama getting Bin Ladin all of his air strikes were against...who exactly, who and why were people randomly targeted?

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Exactly, so why is Biden trying to ONCE AGAIN start troop buildup in Iraq and keep our troops forever in bogged down in the Mideast.

Lmao! You’re the one that is advocating for the US to get further bogged down in the ME.

Sorry, I don’t. I do think we owe a lot of the Kurds, and there should have been a better way to protect them, but at the end of the day it’s the US troops that needed to leave that country and it was our American troops that ultimately I was more concerned about. 

You praised Trump’s decision to abandon our allies constantly when he was in the process of doing so.

When Trump decided to end the life of Iran’s most senior terrorist military leader that was responsible for the lives of hundreds of Americans (and good riddance to Soleimani) liberals had an aneurism, the same with Al Baghdadi and with the exception of Obama getting Bin Ladin all of his air strikes were against...who exactly, who and why were people randomly targeted?

Obama didn’t randomly target people in the drone strikes he authorized; they were known terrorists.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Shabbat Shalom to the pope from Japan. I am happy he respects and prays to Jesus the Jew and philosopher from Nazareth.

Now, please spread the wealth instead of just collecting it.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

The Catholic Church should open olio its coffers and help the Christians in Iraq and the rest of the ME. It’s not as if the Catholic Church couldn’t afford to help hundreds of thousands of people with all the cash it has.

In the run up to this amazing visit, the Catholic Church announced a new programme to help support young Iraqi Christians worth nearly 2 million dollars. Run through the Aid to the Church in Need charity, the money will be used to help students at the Catholic University (over 50% of the students there are women).

This is on top of many already existing efforts by the Church in Iraq. CRS (Catholic Relief Services) have offices in 5 cities in the country, and have helped over 300,000 people since 2014.

Caritas, another Catholic foundation, was established in Iraq in 1992, and is currently helping 11,000 families every month with food, health, and employment. They also run social, rehabilitation, and youth centres, and relies on the work of over 400 volunteers.

Plus there are many initiatives run by Catholic groups based all around the world. Help Iraq for example was founded by the Chaldean Catholic Diocese of Detroit and helps Iraqi people in need with food, medicine, housing, and so on.

So, yes, the Catholic Church, and ordinary Catholics around the world, do help hundreds of thousands of Iraqis every day, and have been doing so for decades, in some of the most awful conditions you can imagine.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I'm not religious but I'll support anything that can lead to peace.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Lmao! You’re the one that is advocating for the US to get further bogged down in the ME.

No, sorry. Nice try though. I don’t, I did support the Iraq war initially, but I realized it was a mistake, now I don’t an wouldn’t for the reasons the NeoCons and the Dems want. We don’t need to fight any war right now unless it benefits American.

You praised Trump’s decision to abandon our allies constantly when he was in the process of doing so.

I worry about the safety of Americans first.

Obama didn’t randomly target people

Oh, yes he did.

https://wearechange.org/watch-obama-casually-admit-his-drone-strikes-killed-an-inordinate-amount-of-innocent-civilians/

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Pope is estimated to be worth $25 million. Hope he spends more than a penny. The Vatican is worth more than $15 billion. One of the richest states, with a population of just 825.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

So, yes, the Catholic Church, and ordinary Catholics around the world, do help hundreds of thousands of Iraqis every day, and have been doing so for decades, in some of the most awful conditions you can imagine.

The Catholic church has enough money to do much, much more than this.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The Catholic church has enough money to do much, much more than this.

It does. I gave a partial list of some of the projects run by the Catholic Church in Iraq. But your original post mentioned the whole Middle East; would you like a list of all the Catholic initiatives across the entire region? I don't have time (or sufficient knowledge) for that, but you can easily imagine how everything the church does in Iraq is replicated in many more countries.

Of course, if you don't like the Church, there are other agencies working in Iraq and you could always support them if you wish.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Isn't it lovely to see religions get together and spread the message of love and peace around the world

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Psmith: Been there and done that. Refreshing actually. Flew to Okinawa during my last furlough last week.

It is still Shabbat. Peace my friend the pope

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

The Pope. The True Church. The Crusades. The Inquisition. An institution that has much to atone for and has caused all manner of horror and indulged in reactionary politics imposing its tenets upon the secular world. This especially evident in what was once deemed The New World. The pontiff appears almost two decades after the initial invasion by the U.S. Biding 'good news'. Mostly empty gestures of no real import. Might as well handout holy cards and rosaries. The real work is elsewhere, in the actual halls of power. And perhaps with those who control Big Oil, the masters of mankind who completed the ruin of a nation & culture to 'stabilize the energy supply'. As cited in the PNAC, by the architects of the invasion.

Catholic missionaries in Iraq. The intent is always to spread the faith, no matter the charitable underpinnings. The cause for Iraq's woes are not to be found in Iraq, but in the centers of power throughout the West. His eminence, engaging in photo ops will accomplish naught, except to burnish his superficial 'legacy' as some supposed mode of peacemaker.

The reference to a mustard seed, reveals actual purpose. The spread of the kingdom of god, like an invasive weed, of course, a Catholic God. Mediated by the true church. The Pope as a missionary aka carpetbagger.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Obama didn’t randomly target people

Oh, yes he did. 

Smh.

Your link doesn’t say he randomly attacked people. It is talking about collateral damage. This is still a very serious issue but it not the same thing by a long shot. Read what you link to.

If he had randomly attacked people, he’d have been removed from power and justly charged as a war criminal.

Incidentally, some of the people commenting on this in your article are notorious lefty virtue-signalers.

Any port in a storm, eh?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

PTownsendToday  07:12 am JST

Since the 2003 U.S. invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, it has seen vicious sectarian violence between Shiites and Sunni Muslims, clashes and tensions between Arabs and Kurds, and militant atrocities against minorities like Christians and Yazidis.

The Bush/big oil/big defense invasion of Iraq made America's 1% richer. While millions suffered. Stop wars for oil, gas and their shipments. Stop burning so much oil and gas.

It was 30 years ago this week Desert Storm officially ended. Even though retreating Iraqi forces blew up all the Kuwaiti oil derrecks, spewing oil into the sea, sand and sky; even though the returning chicken Kuwaiti regime started persecuting their citizens for 'collaboration' crimes (real or not); even though the environmental catasphrophe got MANY veterans sick (and they are today); the media which showed the 'drama' 24/7 was spewing lies about how the 'desert climate didn't allow Iraqi chemi-weapons to function'; ads on TV and radio were jingoed up with 'U.S.A.' this and 'U.S.A.' that (like early 1986 with Libya); souvenirs ranging from t-shirts and coffee mugs celebrated the war; Whitney Houston's 'Star Spangled Banner' hit the Top 20; as did that awful Lee Greenwood song; a new Rolling Stones anti-Gulf War song wasn't played by radio due to 'hurting sensitivities'; and American armchair warriors were giddy and sick with nationalistic chauvanism to the max. The great Cold War victory was thrown away by a government, media and dumb public that loves war.

As a later Cold War veteran I was sickened and disgusted by all the ignorance, commercialism and outright censorship and glorification of it all. Look what's happened there since. ISIL is much worse than Saddam Hussein ever was, and where is the 'victory' now? There was no 'victory' in 1991 and it's an unholy mess now.

bass4funkToday  09:29 am JST

The wars were definitely a mistake now looking back in hindsight, it was a mistake with the one exception of getting Saddam out we should never send our men and women to fight and die for oil. Both parties have blood on their hands from Bush and the GOP to the Democrats that signed off on it, there’s enough blame to go around. We need to use the resources we already have to wean ourselves off of the Mideast once and for all and while we use our resources in the meantime, we need to create better, cleaner and more lasting fuel alternatives. These wars have given anger and pointed the finger to millions of Christians whose lives were unnecessarily lost because they were used as scapegoats to expand an Islamic Caliphate. The Washington elite didn’t do enough to protect the Christian minorities as well as other small religious minorities and just left them to their own demise. Millions fled, millions were rejected and millions died, we should never allow this to happen again and I hope Washington as well as some of the more moderate Muslim leaders can come together with the Pope and Christians and forge an new path of tolerance and acceptance.

You forget - these ISIL fanatical crazies have been committing genocide on regional Christians, Jews, Druze, Zoroastrians, Sikhs, moderate Muslims, everybody who wasn't on their side. And Trump refused to allow any of these refugees come to America because he is an anti-Arab racist.

Dr.Cajetan CoelhoToday  07:20 am JST

Pope Francis is a bridge-builder. "We cannot express our joy because this for sure is a historic event which we will keep remembering. All Iraqis are happy, not just the Christians. We hope it will be a blessed day for us and for all the Iraqi people” - Rafif Issa.

We need to hear his message of mercy. He was a resistor to and a victim of the fasciist regime in his native Argentina. He understands and has a lot of wisdom to share. He has criticized Trump's policies. He elevated a Black American bishop of the DC diocese to cardinal status around Christmastime. That new Cardinal openly spoke out against Trump's policies and his blasphemous display of narcisstic posing in front of two DC churches in the midst of the 2020 strife. Pope Francis knows fascism, he's seen it all before - in his youth.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Still Shabbat. Why would anyone give me, me a thumbs down for praising the pope for praying to Jesus, the Jewish messiah?

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

The linked article points out the extent to which Iraq's Christians have dwindled since the US invasion of 2003 - from 1.5 million to 250,000 in 2019. For Christians in Iraq it might have been a case of some good, some bad under Saddam Hussein, but for Christians living under the secularist Saddam was relatively easy compared to what came after him - ISIL and the rest. Many people in many countries. maybe even a majority, didn't believe all the weapons of mass destruction BS at the time and warned the Bush Administration and its allies against the invasion of Iraq, but the Bush Administration did not listen.

Pope Francis is a peacemonger, not a warmonger. Sure, the Catholic Church itself is very much a mix of the good and the bad, but for the man, Pope Francis, not a well man himself, to go to Iraq in the current environment in order to try and give some comfort to the beleaguered remnants of an ancient community should tell us that he's a man worthy of some admiration.

Spoken as an atheist.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-48333923

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@starpunk:

Great post.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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