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Sat Mar 6, 2021, 07:48 AM

Pope, top Iraq Shiite cleric hold historic, symbolic meeting

Source: AP

By NICOLE WINFIELD and QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA

PLAINS OF UR, Iraq (AP) — Pope Francis and Iraq’s top Shiite cleric delivered a powerful message of peaceful coexistence Saturday, urging Muslims in the war-weary Arab nation to embrace Iraq’s long-beleaguered Christian minority during an historic meeting in the holy city of Najaf.

Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani said religious authorities have a role in protecting Iraq’s Christians, and that Christians should live in peace and enjoy the same rights as other Iraqis. The Vatican said Francis thanked al-Sistani for having “raised his voice in defense of the weakest and most persecuted” during some of the most violent times in Iraq’s recent history.

Al-Sistani, 90, is one of the most senior clerics in Shiite Islam and his rare but powerful political interventions have helped shape present-day Iraq. He is a deeply revered figure in Shiite-majority Iraq and his opinions on religious and other matters are sought by Shiites worldwide.

The historic meeting in al-Sistani’s humble home was months in the making, with every detail painstakingly discussed and negotiated between the ayatollah’s office and the Vatican.



Pope Francis, right, meets with Iraq's leading Shiite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in Najaf, Iraq, Saturday, March 6, 2021. The closed-door meeting was expected to touch on issues plaguing Iraq's Christian minority. Al-Sistani is a deeply revered figure in Shiite-majority Iraq and and his opinions on religious matters are sought by Shiites worldwide. (AP Photo/Vatican Media)


Read more: https://apnews.com/article/middle-east-islamic-state-group-ali-al-sistani-pope-francis-iraq-f95098b179f6a82157e87a7cb6cc0c3d

8 replies, 1130 views

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Reply Pope, top Iraq Shiite cleric hold historic, symbolic meeting (Original post)
Omaha Steve Mar 6 OP
paleotn Mar 6 #1
LiberalLovinLug Mar 6 #3
Politicub Mar 6 #4
LiberalLovinLug Mar 6 #5
paleotn Mar 6 #6
dalton99a Mar 6 #2
Yeehah Mar 6 #7
NH Ethylene Mar 6 #8

Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Mar 6, 2021, 11:12 AM

1. Amazed no one has responded and this only has 6 recs.

This may be one of the most historic photos I've seen a in a long, long time. For anyone who knows the history since Pope Urban II in the 1090's, this is as monumental as the Berlin wall coming down. Maybe bigger. Certainly has taken far, far longer. Wow! Just wow!

I've said it before....against my better judgement, I like this Pope.

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Response to paleotn (Reply #1)

Sat Mar 6, 2021, 03:38 PM

3. I was going to write something similar. Where are the views?

I understand the pandemic will always get top page billing still, but this is a historic event of Biblical proportions. Bigger than Biblical actually.

There is an underpinning in Iraq, and Iran for that matter, that they just want to be accepted in the world. Yes there is a militant minority that wants nothing to do with the West. But what incentive is there in those troubled Middle Eastern countries when they are treated like shit. This visit is of great importance to Iraq and to the world.


I was actually going to start an OP about how, on another planet, another Earth without the same problems and fighting, this story, and the Mars landing, both historic, would be on the front cover around the world. These are two of the most monumental events to happen in the last hundred years, or ever for that matter. Yet they are, in essence, put on the back pages. And in many ways, it is the MSM news fault. They could make or break a story into however big they want to promote it.

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Response to LiberalLovinLug (Reply #3)

Sat Mar 6, 2021, 03:58 PM

4. What is there to say? Wow?

I read the article, and appreciate the historic nature of the photo. I just don't have much of an opinion about one religious leader meeting with another.

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Response to Politicub (Reply #4)

Sat Mar 6, 2021, 04:59 PM

5. You helped to make my point for me.

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Response to Politicub (Reply #4)

Sat Mar 6, 2021, 05:07 PM

6. Ten years ago...

I'd have thought the Pope traveling to Mars was more likely than meeting with senior Shia clerics in Iraq. It's a beginning that maybe, just maybe will bear fruit. A break in a cyclically hot and cold war that's lasted for more than 900 years and underpins much of our recent geo-political turmoil.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Mar 6, 2021, 11:33 AM

2. Kick

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Mar 6, 2021, 07:03 PM

7. Anything that encourages people to just get along is incredibly important

In a species that just seems to want to kill itself with hate.
This is the DU member formerly known as Yeehah.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sat Mar 6, 2021, 08:13 PM

8. Amazing and so heartwarming.

I wish the Pope safe passage on the next branch of his journey.

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