Here is the text of Bishop Declan Lang's statement of Iraq, issued Thursday. Bishop Lang serves as the current bishop of Clifton.
Bishop Declan Lang's Statement on Iraq:
My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Iraq as they struggle with the mounting violence afflicting their country, especially since the seizure of Mosul by ISIS/IS on 6 June.
Iraq’s communities have been traumatised by the fighting and the subsequent fragmentation of the Iraqi state. Political parties need to heed the call made by Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako I of Baghdad to come together to form a government of national unity that would allow a chance to end the present crisis and to build a state in which the rights and dignity of all Iraqis can be respected.
Please pray for the Christian communities and all the people of Iraq who are suffering the violence of war.
Bishop Declan Lang
Bishop of Clifton
Chair, International Affairs Department
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales