Iraqi Catholics Trying to Live a Normal Holy Week

BAGHDAD, Iraq, APRIL 14, 2003 ( The looting and fires still raging in war-torn Iraq are making it hard for the country’s Catholics to live Holy Week in peace.

“We celebrated Palm Sunday almost normally,” said Archbishop Fernando Filoni, papal nuncio in Iraq. “The ceremonies took place in the churches. Participation was relative, as some Christians were unable to attend or are still outside, in the villages.”

“Unfortunately, the looting and fires continue,” he told Vatican Radio. “Hence, to leave one’s home is extremely problematic.”

The nuncio said that today “we woke up to a deluge of ashes. Unfortunately, the national library has been set on fire. It is a great loss, as the memory and history of a people is being burnt and has been lost.”