Papal Nuncio Aims to Stay Close to the Suffering in Iraq

BAGHDAD, Iraq, MARCH 18, 2003 (ZENIT.orgAvvenire).- The papal nuncio in Baghdad reiterated his intention to stay in Iraq even if the bombing begins, in order to express his closeness to those who suffer.

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Archbishop Fernando Filoni, who has been nuncio for less than a year, said: “We are here, and here we will stay, even if there is a war. We have no alternatives and, so long as we are permitted, we will remain.”

The archbishop explained that he wishes to be “close to those who suffer to make them feel that they have not been abandoned” and to ensure “service to the local Church.”

Regarding the Catholics who constitute 2.8% of a population of 24 million, the nuncio said their activities “continue with regularity.”

“There is a certain concern on the part of the families of our seminarians, but the seminaries are still open, as well as the parishes, which are preparing for any eventuality, while carrying out the scheduled work,” he said.

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