⇒ 11:45 a.m. [TWEET] Pope Francis prays for “martyred Syria”
The #peace demands neither winners nor losers, but brothers and sisters who, despite the wounds of the past, move from conflict to unity. Let us ask it in prayer for the whole Middle East, especially for martyred Syria. #TravelApostolic #Iraq.
– Pope Francis (@Pontifex_fr) March 6, 2021
⇒ 11:15 a.m. [REPORTAGE] The Pope’s call to brotherhood
During the interreligious meeting in the Plain of Ur, in the footsteps of Abraham, Pope Francis, in a very strong speech, called to preserve fraternity and to “hope against all hope”. “Where can the path to peace begin? », Asked François, in a tent erected in the middle of the desert swept by the wind ….
10:40 a.m. [REPORTAGE] Who are the Iraqi religious minorities?
At the ancient site of Ur, the Pope meets with representatives of Iraqi religious traditions. A host of minorities, often unrecognized in the West, struggle to have their rights respected, when they are not persecuted.
⇒ 10:15 a.m. [REPORTAGE] In the plain of Ur
” It is all beautiful and very moving », Says our special correspondent Loup Besmond de Senneville. A passage from the Koran first resonated in the desert, followed by a priest’s song about the passage in Genesis, where God calls Abraham to the plain of Ur. Only the sound of the blades of the two military helicopters flying over the area alters the tranquility of this interreligious meeting.
⇒ 10 h [TEMOIGNAGE] “Coexistence, we will know it again” (Didier Adamat)
Dilan Adamat, 30, is a Chaldean Christian from Erbil, host of a radio program on the local Babylon FM station: “This visit of a pope to Iraq is going to be a historic moment! I want to participate, and get involved as a volunteer. Even though I myself grew up in France before returning to Erbil in 2019, I doubt the Pope is explicitly calling for Iraqis to return to their country. This type of discourse, also held by our Churches, sometimes annoys the Iraqis who can find their living conditions difficult. I expect from the Pope a speech of fraternity, because I know that Iraq has the potential to rebuild living together. Coexistence, we have known it in the past, and we will know it again! “
⇒ 9:45 a.m. [EVENEMENT] : The Pope’s meeting with representatives of different religions
Pope Francis chose the ancient site of Ur, in southern Iraq, considered the homeland of Abraham, to meet with representatives of Iraqi religious traditions: from the most ancient traditions such as Yezidism, to the most recent like Bahaism, passing through all those, Jews, Christians and Muslims, who recognize themselves as “Children of Abraham”.
While a priest sings a passage from the book of Genesis, the one where God calls Abraham to the plain of Ur, two heavy military helicopters, which fly over us, mix the sound of their blades with the song in Arabic.
– LB2S (@ LB2S) March 6, 2021
⇒ 9:20 a.m. [REPORTAGE] : An already historic meeting between Pope Francis and Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani
“The discussion revolved around the great challenges facing humanity, the role of faith in Almighty God, his messages, and high moral values to overcome them.”, says a statement from the Nadjaf marjaiyya – the religious institution surrounding Ali al-Sistani – following the meeting between Ayathollah Ali al-Sistani and the Pope. The report of our special correspondent:
⇒ 9 a.m. [TEMOIGNAGE] : “I cannot imagine the Pope’s meeting with Sistani”
Menna Allah Jawad, 22, is a marketing student in Baghdad. At first, I did not believe that the Pope would come to Iraq, it is not something that we would have imagined. And I can’t imagine his meeting with Sistani either: we never see this senior religious official, we just hear about him. And personally I do not expect anything from this visit. I don’t think it will impact the Muslim community.
I grew up in a Sunni family on my mother’s side and a Shia family on my father’s side. My family is not particularly religious, but they observe traditions, such as fasting and prayer. Sunni or Shiite, I don’t find that making a big difference in our lives here in Iraq today, Muslims are the majority in the country anyway. “
⇒ 8:45 a.m. [TEMOIGNAGE] : “Beyond our creed, we are all human and therefore equal” (Ines Mousa)
Inas Mousa, 27, is a product manager in a pharmacology company in Baghdad. “I am happy that the Pope is coming to Iraq, he is showing so much compassion. For me, his meeting with Ayatollah Sistani represents that between two religious poles, even if as people there are no differences between them. In Islam we say, “People are of two types, either a brother in your religion or someone who looks like you”. This means that beyond our creed, we are all human and therefore equal.
Pope and Ayatollah Sistani will talk about religion and find things in common between theirs. I do not believe there will be any concrete change that will follow. For me this meeting is above all an important symbol. I come from a Shiite family but in my life religion does not yet have a well defined place. I don’t see myself as a believer, but that could change. My family hates me for it… so I married a Kurdish! “
⇒ 8:30 a.m. [RENCONTRE] Pope Francis and Ayatollah Ali Al Sistani, a 50-minute interview
Francis is the first pope to meet Ayatollah Ali Al Sistani, one of the greatest figures in the Shiite world. The two men, who had planned to see each other for 30 minutes, finally spent 50 minutes meeting them. The 90-year-old Ayatollah is one of Iraq’s most influential men. “Christians in Iraq must live in peace”, Ayathollah Ali Al Sistani told Pope, according to the statement sent to AFP.
Declaration of the Marjaiyya of Najaf: “During the meeting, the discussion revolved around the great challenges facing humanity, the role of faith in Almighty God and his messages, and high moral values for overcome them. ” #PopeInIraq https://t.co/q5W0PjezHu
– AB Hoffner (@abhoffner) March 6, 2021
⇒ 8:15 a.m. [PROGRAMME] What are the stages of this second day of Pope Francis in Iraq?
Pope Francis left Baghdad for Najaf. At 7 am French time (9 am local time) he met the great Shia Ayatollah, Ali Al Sistani. Two hours later, the Pope will arrive in Nassiriya, near the ruins of the ancient city of Ur, to participate in an interfaith meeting with representatives of the Iraqi religious mosaic: from the most ancient traditions like Yazidism, to the most recent. like Bahaism, passing through all those, Jews, Christians and Muslims, who recognize themselves as “Children of Abraham”. Back in Baghdad in the early afternoon, he will celebrate mass in the Chaldean Saint Joseph Cathedral.
⇒ 8:00 a.m. [LE RÉCAP’] The Pope’s first day in Iraq, Friday March 5
Arrived in Baghdad in the late morning, the Pope began his journey with a speech to the authorities, civil society and the diplomatic corps, at the Presidential Palace in Baghdad. He called on them to defend a peaceful society and peaceful coexistence in a country plagued by ethnic and religious divisions. “The religious, cultural and ethnic diversity, which has characterized Iraqi society for millennia, is a precious resource to draw from, not a barrier to be removed.”, insisted François.
In the early afternoon, he went to the Syriac Catholic cathedral in Baghdad to meet the clergy, men and women religious and catechists. He encouraged them not to be won over by “The virus of discouragement” at a time when many have chosen to leave their country, because of persecution, while resisting the temptation of division between Catholics.