Pope Francis to Visit Iraq in March, Historic First

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Pope Francis to visit Iraq in March, historic first

For the sovereign pontiff, Pope Francis this will be the first trip abroad since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Pope Francis will travel to Iraq from March 5th to 8th, 2021, his first trip abroad since the beginning of the pandemic, and a historic first for a pope announced Monday the Holy See.

An “apostolic journey”

“Welcoming the invitation of the Republic of Iraq and the local Catholic Church, Pope Francis will make an apostolic trip to this country from March 5 to 8, 2021, visiting Baghdad, the plain of Ur linked to the memory of Abraham, the city of Erbil, as well as Mosul and Qaraqosh in the Nineveh Plain, ”the Vatican spokesperson said in a statement.

This unprecedented trip for a pope “symbolizes a message of peace for Iraq and for the whole region”, reacted the Iraqi foreign ministry in a press release.

“Martyred” population

Before the coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis had clearly expressed his desire to visit this country, of which he regularly refers to the population “martyred” by the war.

By receiving the representatives of the works of aid to the Eastern churches in June 2019, he had expressed his “will” to go to Iraq in 2020. The Pope had received at the Vatican in January 2020 Iraqi President Barham Salih.

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