Skip to comments.Iraq Prelate: Let's Talk to Benedict XVI Frankly, Openly
Posted on 09/11/2012 6:37:02 AM PDT by marshmallow
Kirkuk Archbishop Hoping Church Leaders Will Tell Pope in Lebanon of Grave Situation for Christians
ROME, SEPT. 7, 2012 (Zenit.org).- The archbishop of Kirkuk, Iraq, is hoping Benedict XVI's trip to Lebanon next week will motivate bishops of the Middle East to speak openly with the Pontiff about the danger of Christianity fading away from the region.Archbishop Louis Sako told the charity Aid to the Church in Need Christian leaders should go beyond the formalities to spell out their concerns for the survival of the faith when they see the Pope during his Sept. 14-16 trip.
Archbishop Sako underlined the extent of the Christian exodus from the Middle East, saying that it showed no sign of stopping and indeed had spread from Iraq to other countries, notably Syria.He also said that, despite considerable political discussion, extremism and sectarianism are growing and that in response Christians are leaving the region that had been home to their families for thousands of years.
"The rise of political Islam is a matter of worry," the archbishop said. "We Christians are a minority and there is no prospect of us gaining equal citizenship in the concrete reality of day-to-day life and there is no vision of a better future.
"Everyone is speaking of democracy and freedom but the reality on the ground is different."The sectarianism is gaining ground and the majority are not taking care of minority groups. I think there are real fears of more Christians leaving."He described the difficulty of encouraging faithful in his Diocese of Kirkuk to stay, saying many if not most have left."From my diocese there are few families left. I cannot stop them [leaving] and speaking truthfully I have no magic solutions.
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