Here is a translation of a statement made today by the Pontifical Council Cor Unum regarding the situation in Iraq.
In the context of the humanitarian crisis in Iraq, the Holy Father has repeatedly appealed for peace in the area and sent a representative in the person of Cardinal Fernando Filoni.
With regard to action on the Church’s part, the Pontifical Council Cor Unum announced that since June, programs have been in place to provide humanitarian assistance to the refugees. These programs that have been initiated by the local Church, especially through Caritas Iraq, have reached at least 4,000 households. These programs of the local Church are associated with some national bodies of the Caritas family, under the coordination of Caritas International. Other Catholic International entities have developed their own aid programs.
The Holy Father has contributed in this relief effort through Cor Unum, with an initial donation, as the president of the dicastery is in direct contact with the Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, His Beatitude Raphael I Louis Sako, as well as to express his spiritual closeness, and to know of any immediate needs that have to be addressed.
Currently, Catholic institutions carrying out humanitarian action are focusing, in particular, on three areas: emergency relief with food and health kits, education for children, and psychological support. In order to prepare a comprehensive plan of assistance on the part of the Catholic Church in the near future, in close cooperation with the Patriarchate of Babylon of the Chaldeans and with the local Caritas, studies are in progress and on-site visits are taking place.[Original Text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]