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Papal envoy in Iraq to support aid effort

Pope John Paul II has sent Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum", to Iraq to see firsthand the country's humanitarian aid requirements.

According to the Vatican Information Service, his task is "to verify personally the needs and conditions that permit the Catholic Church to operate in territories afflicted by war."

The Church is anxious to assist "in the equal distribution of humanitarian aid and in fostering social and political reconstruction". The Catholic aid and development organisation Caritas has been active throughout the emergency.

Archbishop Cordes will meet with the apostolic nuncio, bishops, Catholic organisations and civil authorities. On Sunday, he will celebrate Mass in the cathedral of Baghdad and the following day he will go to Mosul.

The Pope has asked Archbishop Cordes to convey his spiritual closeness to the entire Iraqi population.

Vatican Information Service

Papal Envoy Heads for Iraq to Support Relief Effort (Catholic World News)
Pontifical Council Cor Unum
Caritas Internationalis | Iraq Situation Reports
Religious leaders discuss future of Iraq (Independent Catholic News)

Caritas aid for Iraq (Australian Catholic Bishops Conference)
Caritas Australia | Humanitarian Crisis Iraq Appeal

29 May 2003