By Marta Petrosillo
Briefing for our Donors
“IRAQI CHRISTIANS were deeply moved by the gesture of the Holy Father,” said Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Babylon Louis Raphaël I Sako told us. Pope Francis has promised to donate a part of the funds raised from the auction of a special edition Lamborghini Huracan to charities including this pontifical foundation. The Pope recently received the special edition Lamborghini Huracan as a gift from the automaker. Pope Francis would like to use some of the proceeds from the auction to support Aid to the Church in Need’s help for Christians returning to the Nineveh Plains in northern Iraq.
“By now I have become used to Francis’s surprises,” the patriarch added, saying that this gesture “perfectly embodies Christian charity through concrete deeds.” It was widely reported by Iraqi media and the news was closely followed, particularly by the Christian community. The Patriarch continued: “It is not the first time that the Pope has made a gesture like this to show us that he is close to us. He has not been able to visit us yet, but sometimes a humanitarian and spiritual presence is more important than a physical one.”
The news about this additional support from Rome has come at a very delicate time for the Nineveh Plains. Tensions in the area have intensified after the Kurdish independence referendum. “At the moment, the situation has calmed down and there is an openness towards dialogue. However, Iraq needs more. It will be necessary to separate Church and state and implement a new concept of citizenship, which entitles every Iraqi to the same dignity, irrespective of his or her religious affiliation,” Patriarch Sako said.
In the meantime, Aid to the Church in Need continues to assist displaced persons from Iraq return to their Christian villages on the Nineveh Plains. Our support heartens Patriarch Sako, who said: “We would like to show that the Christian religion is still here in this country. Our presence is crucial for the members of all religions. Because Christianity represents an element of tolerance that has the ability to counter violence.”