By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
8/11/2014 (1 year ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
In response to the widespread slaughter of Christians in Iraq by Islamic State, Cardinal Fernando Filoni has been requested by Pope Francis to travel to the region to meet church and government officials. Tantamount to the visit will be the cardinal's meeting with Christians who have been chased from their homes by militants.
Speaking to Vatican Radio, Cardinal Filoni said that his assignment was "a gesture that shows the pope's concern for the situation of these Christians who are suffering."
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis chose Cardinal Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, for his experience in the region as nuncio to Iraq in 2001-2006.
The cardinal "was the only diplomat to remain in Iraq" when the U.S.-led coalition invaded in 2003, which demonstrates his "dedication and notable courage," Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said.
SAVE Iraqi Christians from Genocide --
Father Lombardi said it was "too soon to say when he will leave and exactly where he will go." Cardinal Filoni will not be joining Pope Francis for his visit to South Korea from 14 - 18 August.
Organizing the trip would take some work "because it is not easy to reach." Cardinal Filoni said he was not frightened of making the trip and was confident the logistics would come together so "I can see how I can be close to these people for a time."
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