“We are very grateful for this very paternal gesture carried out by Pope Francis. The Pontiff is Father of the whole Church, and he thinks of everyone, especially those that, like us, suffer,” said Chaldean Patriarch of Babylon Raphael Louis I Sako at the news that the unique number of the Hurricane Lamborghini, donated to the Pope by the automobile house last November 15, was auctioned last May 12 for the sum of 715,000 euros. As the Holy Father wishes, the entire sum will be donated to charity and a large part of the total will go to Aid to the Church in Need to support the plan of reconstruction of Christian villages of the Nineveh Plain in Iraq.
“The Pope never ceases to show his closeness to Iraqi Christians,” affirmed the Patriarch who at present is, in fact, in Erbil. “This gift infuses so much hope in us and constitutes a great encouragement! It’s important for us to remain, to continue our life in Iraq, and to witness our faith here and the values of the Gospel.”
The ACN Plan for the reconstruction of Christian villages in the Nineveh Plain has enabled many Christians to return to their homes. Last March 25 the families that returned to the Plain numbered 8,213, more than 42% of the 19,452that were constrained to flee, due to the invasion of the Islamic State in August 2014.
“With the Pope’s gift we will be able to do even more. I thank the Holy Father from my heart but, at the same time, I ask all those that can help, even with little, to support the Christians of Nineveh, who represent the roots of our faith!”
On May 12, in fact when the Lamborghini was being auctioned, parliamentary elections were being held in Iraq. The results are not yet definitive, but the projections see in the lead as the next Premier the Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. “Al Sadr has always shown himself well disposed in his dealings with minorities, however, in case he should win, it will be necessary to see with whom he forms a coalition. The turnout for voting was very low because Iraqis have lost trust in the political class. They lack concrete plans and programs and corruption is widespread. At present there is confusion, but we hope that the new political class will be able to do good and, above all, to unite an extremely divided country as Iraq.”
From the start of ISIS’ advance in June 2014, Aid to the Church in Need has supported emergency and humanitarian projects in Iraq amounting to a total of 37,703,054 euros. The Foundation is the first association for aid entities in the Nineveh Plain.