Cardinal Filoni: "My mission in Iraq is to give moral, spiritual and psychological support"

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11/08/2014
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Pope Francis met with Cardinal Fernando Filoni yesterday at Santa Marta before the prelate travels to Iraq.  

Francis named him as his personal envoy in order to send support and consolation to the Christian population suffering from persecution by the Islamic extremist group ISIS.  During the meeting, Cardinal Filoni received instructions by the Pope for the mission.  

CARD. FERNANDO FILONI
Papal Envoy in Iraq
'It is essentially a mission of encouragement, as well as of trust, of spiritual, moral and psychological support. Our perception is that these Christians, after suffering so many difficulties, may not think that this country is theirs anymore.'  

Cardinal Filoni explained that his trip will also serve to raise awareness to government authorities of the importance in protecting these minorities to safeguard the future of Iraq.   

CARD. FERNANDO FILONI
Papal Envoy in Iraq
'My mission will be to raise awareness to the authorities and urge them to care for the well being of this population and, at the same time, to study how we can concretely help them in this situation and in the future.'  

Cardinal Filoni's journey to Iraq is also a gesture that expresses that 'the Universal Church is with the Christians of Iraq and will not abandon them'  

Pope Francis' personal envoy will head out to Iraq in several hours. Aside from the spiritual counsel and support of the Pope, he will take an undisclosed sum of money that Francis gave him to attend to the urgent needs of the people.   

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