Pope Francis unsure about his March trip to Iraq due to COVID-19 pandemic

He cast doubt on the trip, which would be the first by a pope to the country, in an interview with Italy's Canale 5 broadcast on Sunday night. Francis spoke in a section of the interview about how his life had changed because of the pandemic and how he had to cancel trips that had been planned for last year.

Reuters | Rome | Updated: 11-01-2021 02:22 IST | Created: 11-01-2021 02:12 IST
Pope Francis unsure about his March trip to Iraq due to COVID-19 pandemic
File Photo

Pope Francis said he is not sure if his trip to Iraq in March can take place because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He cast doubt on the trip, which would be the first by a pope to the country, in an interview with Italy's Canale 5 broadcast on Sunday night.

Francis spoke in a section of the interview about how his life had changed because of the pandemic and how he had to cancel trips that had been planned for last year. "Yes, I had to cancel trips ... because in good conscience, I can't be the cause of gatherings of people, right? Now I don't know if the trip to Iraq can take place. Life has changed," he said.

The March March 5-8 trip is due to take the pope the capital Baghdad, as well as Ur, a city linked to the Old Testament figure of Abraham, and Erbil, Mosul and Qaraqosh in the plain of Nineveh. Iraqi President Barham Salih said in a post on Twitter when the trip was announced last month that the trip "will be a message of peace to Iraqis of all religions & serve to affirm our common values of justice & dignity."

The 84-year-old pope is expected to get vaccinated against COVID-19 this week. He said in the interview everyone who is able should get vaccinated.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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