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Pope Francis Ends with a Message of Hope and Peace

Thousands of people filled a sports stadium in the northern Kurdish-Iraqi city of Irbil for an open-air mass held by Pope Francis. An estimated 10,000 people erupted in cheers when he arrived and did a lap around the track in his open-sided pope mobile, the first and only time he has used it on this trip due to security concerns. During the mass, which was the final event of the Pope's visit to Iraq, the pontiff declared that the church in the country was 'alive'.

[The Pope traveled in a motorcade of armoured vehicles ... easy to find his car as he was often seen waving to the crowd from an opened window ... a security nightmare - Oui]

by Oui on Sun Mar 7th, 2021 at 06:55:55 PM EST
    The pope, who is foregoing the usual open-air pope mobile for this visit, traveled by armored car to Our Lady of Salvation church in the Karrada district in central Baghdad to pay his respects at the site of suicide bombing terrorist attack. Stopping at a memorial for the 48 victims, Francis called it a "hallowed place" where Christian martyrs "paid the ultimate price of their fidelity."

    "Their deaths are a powerful reminder that inciting war, hateful attitudes, violence or the shedding of blood are incompatible with authentic religious teachings," the pope told the Catholic clergy present.

by Oui on Sun Mar 7th, 2021 at 06:57:16 PM EST
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