Iraqi church leader leans on Vatican for help in lifting 'unjust' embargo
The international community must be aware that the embargo against Iraq 'constitutes a flagrant injustice', Syrian-Catholic Archbishop Athanase Matti Shaba Matoka of Baghdad said in Rome on Tuesday.
Archbishop Athanase Matti was at the Vatican for the Syrian Church's Jubilee pilgrimage to the tomb of St. Peter. He is the leader of the second largest Iraqi Christian community, which includes 50,000 faithful.
He told Fides that Iraqi Christians are leaving the country: "Many Iraqi Christian families crowd the doors of embassies in Amman (Jordan), ready to do anything to obtain a visa for America, Canada or Australia."
In the spirit of the Jubilee, he said, the embargo should be lifted. A UN embargo was imposed after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990. The Church, Caritas and Iraqi benefactors abroad are sending medical supplies and assistance to help the country's people.