With the liberation of parts of Iraq from ISIS in 2017, Iraq’s Christians returned home to two unwelcome developments. Their homes had been burned, looted or destroyed by ISIS and Iran-backed groups who helped defeat ISIS—known as Popular Mobilization Forces—now controlled their towns.
Francis has shown a great interest in Iraq and its people that have suffered so much since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.
On “Inside the Vatican” this week, hosts Colleen Dulle and Gerard O’Connell discuss the Holy See's reaction to the U.S. drone strike that claimed the life of Qassim Soleimani and look back at the similarities between this attack and the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Five Catholic groups co-sponsored the vigil: the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, the Franciscan Action Network, the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, Pax Christi USA, and the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas Justice Team.
Pope Francis prayed for peace from St. Peter’s Square. “War only brings death and destruction,” he said. “I call on all parties to keep alive the flame of dialogue and self-control and avoid the shadow of enmity.”