– Catholic Herald, Rome – Pope Francis has plans in place to visit Iraq in early 2021. The news broke on Monday at noon Rome Time, which the Director of the Press Office of the Holy See announced the scheduled trip through a statement included in the daily Bulletin from the Press OFfice of the Holy See.
Pope Francis has long desired to visit the sorely tried and suffering nation of Iraq.
“I think constantly of Iraq, where I want to go next year,” Pope Francis told the Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches (ROACO) at their June plenary in 2019, “in the hope that it can face the future through the peaceful and shared pursuit of the common good on the part of all elements of society, including the religious, and not fall back into hostilities sparked by the simmering conflicts of the regional powers.”
“Accepting the invitation of the Republic of Iraq and of the local Catholic Church,” Bruni’s statement said, “[Pope Francis] will make an Apostolic Journey to the aforementioned Country on 5-8 March 2021.” The statement went on to say the pope will visit Baghdad, the plain of Ur, Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan, as well as Mosul and Qaraqosh on the Nineveh Plain.
The statement from the Press Office was otherwise short on details. “The programme of the Journey will be made known in due course, and will take into consideration the evolution of the worldwide health emergency,” it said.