Skip to comments.(Pope) Francis sends Prefect of Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples to Iraq
Posted on 08/08/2014 2:45:50 PM PDT by NYer
città del vaticano
Pope Francis has decided to send Cardinal Fernando Filoni to Iraq where the self-proclaimed Caliphate is driving Christians out of their cities in the Nineveh Plain in the next few days. Apostolic Nuncios in the Middle East are expected to meet in Rome, probably in September.
In light of the grave situation in Iraq, the Holy Father has nominated Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (Propaganda Fide), as his personal envoy to express his spiritual closeness to the people who suffer and to bring them the solidarity of the Church, a statement issued by the Holy See reads.
I ask all men and women of goodwill to join me in praying for Iraqi Christians and all vulnerable populations, the Pope wrote on Twitter.
The Vatican spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi, said it was still too early to give any details regarding Cardinal Filonis mission which will embark on in the next few days (the cardinal will not therefore travel to South Korea with the Pope as originally planned), because he is still planning his trip. Depending on the complexity of the situation, it is expected that Cardinal Filoni will was to visit Kurdistan, Fr. Lombardi told journalists.
The Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples was formerly Nuncio to Iraq and stayed there even when US bombs started falling. Lombardi underlined that Cardinal Filoni is very qualified for this both because of his authoritativeness and because he was Nuncio to Jordan and Iraq from 2001 to 2006 and as many will recall, he was the only diplomat who stayed put in Baghdad, the Vatican spokesman said, stressing the courage of this choice.
Apart from showing the Churchs support to the population, the Prefect is also expected to bring a financial contribution from the Holy Father. The cardinal will communicate the Popes interest and concern regarding the situation in Iraq to the authorities.
Apostolic Nuncios in the region have been asked to inform political and civil authorities and local Churches of the appeal the Pope sent out for Iraq yesterday, Fr. Lombardi said. A meeting of Apostolic Nuncios in Rome is also being planned, to be held further on down the line, possibly in September, Fr. Lombardi said. The Pope apparently held a meeting with his closest collaborators yesterday, to come up with a diplomatic strategy on the emergency in Iraq.
The decision to send him to Iraq shows the Popes concern for the suffering Christians are experiencing: the pain of having left their homes, of being uprooted, humiliated, leaving their homes as they were and having to seek refuge elsewhere, Cardinal Filoni told Vatican Radio. At the moment we are trying to organise the trip as it is not easy to get there
the Italian cardinal said. But there is no need to be afraid. Above all, I will try to bring solidarity and closeness through prayer and in practice, Filoni said. I am sure that the Holy Father will tell me specifically what he wants me to communicate to these people, who are so dear to him and to the whole Church. The Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, Louis Raphael I Sako, + spoke about the risk of a Christian genocide. Patriarch Sako is there and is more in the know about many aspects which many unfortunately escape us, Filoni said. Sadly this is not the first time Christians in this area have been forced to migrate and have experienced unspeakable suffering. So it is a population that still carries within it a great deal of suffering and I understand the Patriarchs words. Yesterday, after militants of the self-proclaimed Caliphate had entered Nineveh Plain the previous evening chasing out thousands of Christians living in the surrounding villages, Cardinal Filoni issued a statement to Fides, Propaganda Fides news agency, saying: Christians had to abandon everything, even their shoes, heading towards the Kurdistan Region barefoot. The effects of this exodus risk becoming more far-reaching because Erbil - the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan is not prepared to take them in as they have nowhere to put a thousand people.
I think a division of Swiss Guard might have been more useful.
Sadly, one doesn’t exist. There are less than 150 Swiss Guards, I believe.
Action with a side order of prayer is needed, swift unrelenting action!
Actually, I think there are about 80.
Prayer for Iraq
O God, who art the unsearchable abyss of peace,
the ineffable sea of love, the fountain of blessings
and the bestower of affection,
who sendest peace to those that receive it;
Open to us this day the sea of thy love
and water us with plenteous streams
from the riches of thy grace
and from the most sweet springs of thy kindness.
Make us children of quietness and heirs of peace,
enkindle in us the fire of thy love;
sow in us thy fear;
strengthen our weakness by thy power;
bind us closely to thee and to each other
in our firm and indissoluble bond of unity:
Syrian Clementine Liturgy (in: For all God’s people; p. 73)
Litany for Iraq
For lasting peace in this ancient land – From you, O Lord.
For wisdom and compassion for all in authority – From you, O Lord.
For comfort for families separated or bereaved – From you, O Lord.
For the release of captives – From you, O Lord.
For safety and security for minority communities.
For refreshment for the weary and healing for the sick – From you, O Lord.
For continuing faithfulness of the ancient churches of this land – From you, O Lord.
For tenacity of spirit for small Christian groups – From you, O Lord.
For the mutual enrichment and support of those of different Christian traditions – From you, O Lord.
You, Lord of all, we confess;
You, Lord Jesus, we glorify;
For you are the life of our bodies
And you are the Saviour of our souls.
The response in the litany and this hymn both come from the Chaldean liturgy. The ancient hymn celebrates Christ the source of resurrection in all situations of death and deprivation. (in: With All God’s People, p. 21, 22)
Father God, Our Savior and King,
We come to You in despair over the evil being done to our Middle East Christian brothers and sisters. We ask that You would put Your hand of protection upon them and that You would sustain them as You did the Israelites in the desert. Lord, cause our brothers and sisters to cry out to You for help and show them the peace that only You can give in answer to their needs. In their darkest moments, Lord, keep them, strengthen them, and comfort them. When they despair that no one is coming to help them, Lord, reveal Your glory and restore their souls.
We ask you these things in the blessed name of Your precious son, Jesus Christ.
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