Pope's envoy reports on trip to Baghdad
Returning from a visit to Iraq, Vatican envoy Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes said that Iraqis are grateful for the Pope's efforts on their behalf but Christians are concerned about threats to religious freedom.
Archbishop Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, was in Baghdad and Mosul last week, visiting with the country's Catholic leaders and helping to coordinate relief efforts.
He said that "everyone expressed gratitude to the Holy Father for his tireless commitment to the people of Iraq and to peace".
The significant Catholic minority were able to practice their faith under the Baathist regime, but concerns about their future have been raised by the renewed vigor of Islamic movements in the post-war period.
Archbishop Cordes reported that relief efforts are accelerating. He said Catholic agencies have pinpointed the main targets for their efforts, "such as emergency aid in food, housing, sanitation, and education."
Catholic World News
Papal envoy in Iraq to support aid effort (29/5/03)
Papal Envoy Heads for Iraq to Support Relief Effort (Catholic World News)
Pontifical Council "Cor Unum"
4 Jun 2003