“Wars are easy to get into but usually difficult to extricate from. Since the Russian invasion of Crimea and its occupation of part of eastern Ukraine, an estimated 14,000 Ukrainian soldiers and civilians have died, and no end is in sight.”
Asked about his meeting March 6 in Najaf with Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, an authority figure for Shiite Muslims in Iraq and around the world, Pope Francis said it “was good for my soul” and was another step on the path of promoting greater understanding and cooperation with Muslims.
“I am the pastor of people who are suffering,” Pope Francis told Catholic News Service Feb. 1 during a discussion about his Iraq trip. In a sign of his determination to travel to Iraq, the pope indicated to CNS that he would consider taking a regular commercial flight to get there if needed.