Prays that Iraqis will pursue the path of peace through dialogue and fraternal solidarity.
Pope Francis expressed his closeness to Iraqi Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, after a drone attack on his residence. Al-Kadhimi was not harmed.
The Prime Minister’s residence in Baghdad’s high-security Green Zone was attacked by an explosive-laden drone on Sunday. The drone struck the building injuring seven of the Prime Minister’s bodyguards and drawing condemnation from several quarters.
News sources say that three drones were used in the attack, but two were shot down.
“Following the attack on your residence in Baghdad, His holiness, Pope Francis wishes me to convey his prayerful closeness to you and your family, and to those injured,” read the telegram signed by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.
Pope Francis condemned the attack as a “vile act of terrorism.” And he expressed his hope that with God’s blessing, the Iraqi people “will be confirmed in wisdom and strength in pursuing the path of peace through dialogue and fraternal solidarity.”
Pope Francis’ visit to Iraq
The Holy Father visited Iraq March 5-8 this year, making stops at Baghdad, Mosul, Qaraqosh and Erbil. The Prime Minister was part of the delegation that greeted the Holy Father upon his arrival at the Baghdad International Airport.
In July, Pope Francis received Al-Kadhimi in a private audience in the Vatican.
The Holy Father’s message joins the many voices condemning the Sunday attack on the Iraqi Prime Minister.
In an interview, Cardinal Louis Raphael Sako, Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, denounced the attack, describing it as an attempt to destabilize the state.
Cardinal Sako encouraged Iraqi Christians not to get carried away by opposing tensions but to pray for the good of the country.