Germany’s Catholic bishops have pledged further support for Iraq’s Christian minority. Archbishop Schick, who is currently in Iraq, underscores this arance.
During a solidarity visit to Iraq, Archbishop Ludwig Schick of Bamberg praised the commitment of the Christian minority to building civil society. "In this we will continue to actively support the churches on the ground," ared Schick, according to the German Bishops’ Conference on Thursday. The archbishop will be in Iraq until Saturday.
Acceptance of the church a "strong sign"
Schick praised the work of church relief organizations from Germany. "Indispensable reconstruction work is being done here."What is needed now is "good coordination.". Relief organizations and local people need to talk to each other.
The archbishop arrived in Baghdad on Tuesday. There he reportedly got a picture of the situation of Christians there. "The great acceptance with which the church acts in public is a strong sign that the church must be in the world and not retreat to church walls."
Schick: Security situation is depressing
At the same time, the security situation is "depressing," Schick said. All the more important, he said, is the encouragement that leaders of various denominations give believers in their daily lives. The patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church, Louis Raphael I. Sako, praised the help of the German Catholic Church. "You give us a lot and do not forget us. These are moments for which we are deeply grateful."
In Baghdad, Schick visited the cathedral of the Syriac Catholic Church, which had been the target of a devastating bomb attack eight years ago. At the time, 46 believers died. Today the church stands behind concrete walls and barbed wire fence, it was said.
"What is being done here is the work of saints in everyday life"
The archbishop also visited the Nineveh Plains – reportedly the first high-ranking Christian church representative from Germany to do so. In the badly damaged Syrian Catholic St.-He celebrated mass with the local Syrian Catholic bishop, Boutros Moshe, at St. Joseph’s Church in Karakosh.
Schick was impressed by the work of the Dominican Sisters in the city: "What is done here is the work of saints in everyday life. It is moving to see how the Dominican Sisters care for educational opportunities, care for the elderly and the young generation." He had come there "to testify the solidarity of the Catholic Church of Germany to this region, which has been particularly brutally afflicted by IS".