Pope Sends Letter to Ban Ki-Moon Calling on International Community to Act

Reminds UN Secretary General of UN’s Charter, Acknowledges Non-Christian Minorities

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Pope Francis has urged the UN Secretary General to forcefully respond to the dramatic events taking place in Northern Iraq where Christians and other religious minorities are being persecuted.

In an unannounced briefing at the Holy See Press Office, Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi, told journalists that at around 11 a.m. this morning, Francis wrote to the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, regarding the situation in Iraq.

The letter published by the Vatican today has “a great intensity,” he said, and begins with the Pontiff saying he writes it with a “heavy and anguished heart.”

Fr. Lombardi said that the message condemns the violent persecutions taking place in the nation and “reminds the UN of its charter,” as well as their responsibility to intervene.

“The Holy Father also references the non-Christian minorities suffering,” and stresses the need to help them.

It calls on the international community to take immediate action and to stop the humanitarian disaster currently taking place.

«The violent attacks that are sweeping across Northern Iraq,» writes Pope Francis, «cannot but awaken the consciences of all men and women of goodwill to concrete acts of solidarity by protecting those affected or threatened by violence and assuring the necessary and urgent assistance for the many displaced people as well as their safe return to their cities and their homes.»


On Zenit’s Web page:

Full Translation: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-letter-to-un-secretary-general-on-dramatic-situation-in-northern-iraq

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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