The Vatican announced that this morning Pope Francis met with Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, who on Wednesday returned to Rome after a mission in Iraq as the Pontiff’s personal envoy.
Cardinal Filoni had spent more than a week in the war-torn nation with an aim of bringing the Pope’s concrete solidarity to the displaced Iraqis driven from their homes by jihadist violence.
It was announced the Pope wrote to the President of Iraq, Fuad Masum, making an appeal “to all the men and women who have political responsibilities,” to put an end to the brutal suffering towards religious minorities.
He said, “I renew my appeal to all men and women who have political responsibilities [that] they use all means to resolve the humanitarian crisis.”
“I appeal to you with a heart full of pain,” the Pope’s letter, which was delivered by Cardinal Filoni, states, “as I follow the brutal suffering of Christians and other religious minorities are forced to leave their homes, while their places of worship are destroyed.”
The Pope in his letter, which has been made known to the Iraqi presidency in Baghdad, speaks of the cardinal and his mission in the strife-torn country.
The Holy Father explains, “I asked Cardinal Filoni to go to Iraq to express my concern, and that of the Catholic Church, for the suffering of those whose only desire is to live in peace, harmony and freedom in the land of their ancestors.”
“In these tragic moments,” Francis adds, “I ask Your Excellency to receive Cardinal Filoni as my personal envoy, expressing my gratitude for all that the Iraqi people can do to alleviate the suffering of their brothers and sisters.”