Francisco landed in France to begin a historic journey: This is the first time a pope has visited the country.
His plane flew from Rome’s main airport, Femicino, at 07:45 (local time) and reached Baghdad at 14:00 local time.
This is his first trip abroad since the start of the Kovid-19 epidemic.
“I am happy to travel” after 15 months without a visit, said Francisco on the plane, at whose feet Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al Qadmi was awaiting him in Baghdad. “And this hostile journey is also a duty towards this martyred land for so many years”Argentine pope added before landing.
At a controversial reception, as is customary, delegations from both states presented themselves and bhajans were played.
The Vatican’s delegation along with the Pope is head of the Pontifical Council for the Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Congress for the Oriental Churches, Argentine Cardinal Leonardo Sandri and Spanish Cardinal Miguel Ayngel Ayuso. Religious Dialogue, among others.
During the three days of his visit, the 84-year-old Argentine pope will be able to express his support for a Christian community devastated by war and attacks, and also He will hold a meeting with the highest Shia dignitaries of the country.
Religious authorities will meet fewer people on the streets, for this reason the occasion has been arranged Total imprisonment in the country, Where the number of cases this week has broken a record since the onset of the Kovid-19 epidemic, more than 5,000 per day.
The head of the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics, who have said he feels “captive” by the Kovid-19 in the slow-moving Vatican in recent months, will begin traveling without people in an armored vehicle, “virtual” to Iraq. The ones who would follow it on television, and mainly on air. Helicopters or Pope aircraft will occasionally fly over the regions Where the jihadis of the Islamic State (IS) group are still hidden.
In the stages of the visit, only a few hundred people will be attending the Erbil Stadium in Kurdistan, with the exception of Sunday Mass, in which they will attend Many thousands of faithful who have already reserved their place.
The Pope program is ambitious and includes Baghdad, Najaf, Ur, Erbil, Mosul and Qarakosh. It will travel 1,445 km in a country On Wednesday, he was hit by rocket fireThe latest episode of Iranian-American tensions that are still latent in Iraq.
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