Pope calls Syriac Patriarch, vows solidarity with Christians of Iraq, Syria
July 22, 2014
Pope Francis has placed a phone call to Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignatius Youssef III Younan, to assure him of his prayers and solidarity as Christians face open persecution in sections of Iraq and Syria.
The Syriac Patriarch told the Italian news agency SIR that the Pope had said he was following the latest news from Mosul with grave concern, and had given his apostolic blessing to the Christians of the region.
The call from the Pope, on June 20, came shortly after a firebombing attack on the headquarters of the Syriac-Catholic Church in Mosul. On the same day the Pontiff had spoken at his regular Sunday audience about the Christians of Iraq who "are persecuted, chased away, forced to leave their houses without the possibility of taking anything.''