CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 20 July 2019

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Popes for peace

BUENOS AIRES (SE): Popes seem to be the peace-makers par excellence of the modern world, as the Argentine parliament passed a resolution to nominate Pope Francis for the Nobel Peace Prize on December 2 and, on November 29, the patriarchs of the Middle East invited the retired Pope Benedict XVI to visit Iraq.

The House of Representatives in Pope Francis’ native Argentina passed a resolution to nominate its most famous son of the hour for the Nobel Peace Prize, citing his initiative in September this year to call for a worldwide day of prayer for peace in Syria and call to western nations to keep their armies out of the country.

The resolution was passed unanimously and will go before the senate for ratification, CNA reported.

Oscar Martinez, who sponsored the resolution, described Pope Francis as “a man who throughout this year has been decisive in maintaining international peace through his clear position regarding the conflict in Syria.”

Since his election to the papacy in March this year, Pope Francis has made repeated calls for peace in Syria. He sent a letter to the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, during the G20 Summit, in which he called on the international community to work for an end to the violence in Syria and to reject any military intervention.

During a visit to Rome for the end of the Year of Faith and also to attend the Plenary Session on Eastern Churches, the Chaldean patriarch and archbishop of Baghdad, Archbishop Raphael Luis Sako, joined other patriarchs in a visit to the retired pope.

Archbishop Sako asked Pope Benedict, “You have retired, but is there any possibility of you coming to Iraq?”

However, the Vatican Insider reported that the aging pope emeritus replied, “I’m getting old, and I’m a monk who has decided to spend the rest of his time in prayer and rest.”

 

The patriarchs expressed their gratitude for all the Pope Benedict had done during his papacy to promote peace in their region and believe that he could still make a good envoy for peace, if he was able to travel.

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