Tomorrow, the Pope of the Vatican begins a historic three-day visit to Iraq, during which he visits five cities, and performs the Divine Liturgy in the Aramaic language, an ancient oriental language that some believe that Jesus was speaking for the first time in the history of the Vatican.
However, Baghdad has modest capabilities and bad security and economic conditions amid escalating political tension, racing against time to make the necessary preparations, surrounded by complications in most of the visit’s stations, in which the President of the Republic, Barham Salih, made great efforts to persuade Pope Francis of its date, which was postponed 21 years ago; In order not to count the visit as support for the regime of dictator Saddam Hussein, and then repeatedly postponed due to wars and continuous crises.
The Vatican has previously announced that the Pope is aware that he will visit cities suffering from the scourge of wars, and he will devote his prayers to offer condolences and admiration to the victims of all sects, who have experienced nearly five decades of fighting and devastating confrontations, and will also devote his prayers for peace in the Middle East, which suffers one of the fiercest Cycles of violence.
The Pope’s first station will be in the historical city of Ur in the Dhi Qar governorate, where the Sumerian and Babylonian ziggurat has been excavating around the church for nearly a century and a half, and it is likely that the Prophet of God Ibrahim Al Khalil was born and lived there, where there is a spacious house in which clay seals were found written on it Symbols about divine monotheism and the name of Abraham.
On this occasion, the “Tishreen” protest movement announced the suspension of the bloody demonstrations in respect of the Pope’s arrival, and the other parties committed themselves to similar concessions.
In Mosul and Erbil, the Pope will take a look at the oldest churches that reach two thousand years old, along with the tombs of the prophets of the Children of Israel and a number of the great saints respected by the church.
Sources close to the scenes of the visit say that they intend international support for the Iraqi state institutions in the face of the militias, which seize a great deal of security decisions and escalate tension with the government of Mustafa Al-Kazemi and the popular “Tishreen” movement.
The sources add that the most exciting stop in Pope Francis’ visit is the city of Najaf, where the supreme religious authority of the Shiites of the world, Ali al-Sistani, meets in an event reminiscent of the Pope’s meeting with the Sheikh of Al-Azhar in Cairo in 2017.
In Najaf circles, the Pope’s meeting with the Supreme Leader will include moral support for the Najaf authority in its competition with the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s institution, who is trying to control the world’s Shiites as part of the proxy wars waged by the Revolutionary Guards throughout the region.
On the other hand, sources in the Iraqi Church say that the Pope’s meeting with Islamic leaders in Iraq will encourage the Muslim elites to take more steps to combat the extremist behavior practiced by Sunni and Shiite parties and pay the price for the children of the various cultures in Iraq and the region, especially Christians, people of the Yazidi religion, and others.
The northern region of Iraq, the most diverse in terms of languages and religions, witnessed security turmoil last month after an unknown faction bombed the city of Erbil from the outskirts of Nineveh, which are two main stops in the Pope’s visit.
However, delegations of Italian security forces visited Iraq twice last month, and said that the level of security is within the criteria accepted by the Pope, and he also stated his willingness to take the risk at the time of the Corona pandemic, due to his keenness not to have another postponement of the visit to Ibrahim Al-Khalil’s house.
Yesterday, a burst of Iranian-style missiles launched at the Ain Al-Assad base, which includes American soldiers west of Baghdad, raised security concerns about the visit and shed light on the logistical difficulties facing the Iraqi authorities, but Pope Francis confirmed that he will abide by the deadline, saying that he does not want to be “People disappoint for a second time.”