DAILY CATHOLIC     TUESDAY     June 16, 1998     vol. 9, no. 116

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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          VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, concluding a trip to Iraq, again criticized in international embargo on that country, and announced the Pope John Paul II hopes to make a personal pilgrimage to the "birthplace of Abraham" before the Jubilee Year 2000.

          At the conclusion of an international symposium of Christian churches, held in Baghdad to discuss how the Church contributes to world peace, Cardinal Etchegaray-- the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace-- said that the international embargo on Iraq has had "perverse and uncontrollable effects" on the culture of that land, causing a general decline in both welfare and morale.

          The cardinal cited figures put forward by UNICEF, indicating that over 16 percent of the children in Iraq now suffer from malnutrition, and in nearly half of those cases the problem is acute. The papal nuncio in Iraq, Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto, has referred to "a land in despair."

          As for the possible papal trip, Cardinal Etchegaray reported that he himself had made a personal pilgrimage to Ur, the birthplace of Abraham, to ask God's blessings on the people of that region. He added that the Holy Father hopes to make the same sort of pilgrimage.

          Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Raphael I Bidawid suggested that the Pope might wish to visit in February or October 1999, "to avoid the head." He added that the Pope would be welcome, even if the embargo continues, and that a papal visit might help bring an easing of the international sanctions.

Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

June 16, 1998       volume 9, no. 116


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