WEDNESDAY
March 22, 2000
volume 11, no. 58
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NEWS & VIEWS     Acknowledgments
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IRAQI BISHOPS PRESENT MEMENTO FROM ABRAHAM'S HOME

    AMMAN, Jordan (FIDES/CWNews.com) -- Although he was unable to make the pilgrimage he had hoped to make to Ur of the Chaldeans, Pope John Paul II was finally able to touch the soil of that land, in modern-day Iraq, on March 21.

    During his stay in Amman, Jordan, the Holy Father met with two Chaldean Catholic bishops from Iraq, who presented him with a handful of soil from Ur, and a few brick fragments that were said to be taken from the home of Abraham.

    The Iraqi delegation, which traveled to Jordan especially for the presentation, consisted of Bishops Djibrail Kassab of Bassora (the diocese in which Ur is situated) and Emmanuel Karim Dally, an auxiliary to the Chaldean Patriarch of Babylon, Raphael I Bidawid.

    The Patriarch-- who could not make the trip to Jordan, because he was in Rome with a delegation of Chaldean Catholics celebrating their Jubilee there- - asked the Iraqi bishops to assure the Holy Father of the affection of all Iraqi Catholics. Patriarch Bidawid told Fides: "The bishops will offer the soil and bricks to the Pope, reminding him that the Church in Iraq deeply desires the Pope to visit Ur". Insisting that such a visit is still possible for some time in the future, the Patriarch recalled: "John Paul II has not renounced his pilgrimage to Ur of the Chaldeans, and we will do our utmost to make it possible."

          

March 22, 2000
volume 11, no. 58
NEWS & VIEWS

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