Documents circulated by CCCB re:
 Pope Francis’ August 2014
Appeal  for Action
on behalf of the peoples of North Iraq

 (More information on this and other issues, as it comes available from time to time, can be accessed on the CCCB website at http://www.cccb.ca/site/eng/)

Table of Contents

                                                 i.     Urgent Message to Bishops of Canada

                                      ii.     Vatican Press Office Statement On Behalf of Holy Father                  

                                              iii.     Letter Of The Holy Father To The Secretary General Of The United Nations                   


Urgent message from the

Apostolic Nunciature to Canada


to the Bishops of Canada:


Your Grace,


On behalf of the Secretariat of State, I hasten to forward to you  the Statement (reproduced below/ed.)of the Director of the Press Office issued yesterday, August 7, 2014 concerning the heartfelt appeal of His Holiness Pope Francis about the dramatic situation of the Peoples in the North of Iraq, in particular the plight of the Christian Communities in that Region.

His Holiness invites the whole Church and all the faithful to raise up with one voice a ceaseless prayer, imploring the Holy Spirit to send the gift of peace.  Pope Francis, during the Angelus prayer on July 20 last, repeated: “May the God of peace create in all an authentic desire for dialogue and reconciliation.  Violence is not conquered with violence.  Violence is conquered with peace!  Let us pray in silence, asking for peace, everyone, in silence….Mary Queen of Peace, pray for us!”

In the absence of the Apostolic Nuncio, I will be very grateful if you could kindly transmit this urgent message to all the Bishops of Canada, inviting them and their local Churches to unite with the Holy Father in steadfast prayer to invoke the gift of peace from the Holy Spirit.

Thanking you for your appreciated collaboration, with my best and cordial regards, I remain

Yours sincerely in Christ,

(signed) Msgr. Maurizio Bravi, P.H.,  Charge d”Affaires, a.i.


Statement of the Director of the Press Office

on behalf of the Holy Father

(7 August 2014)

The Holy Father is following with deep concern the dramatic news reports coming from northern Iraq, which involve defenseless populations. Christian communities are particularly affected: a people fleeing from their villages because of the violence that rages in these days, wreaking havoc on the entire region.

At the Angelus prayer on July 20th, Pope Francis cried with pain: "[O]ur brothers and sisters are persecuted, they are pushed out, forced to leave their homes without the opportunity to take anything with them. To these families and to these people I would like to express my closeness and my steadfast prayer. Dearest brothers and sisters so persecuted, I know how much you suffer, I know that you are deprived of everything. I am with you in your faith in Him who conquered evil!"

In light of these terrible developments, the Holy Father renews his spiritual closeness to all those who are suffering through this painful trial, and makes the impassioned appeals of the local bishops his own, asking together with them in behalf of their sorely tried communities, that the whole Church and all the faithful raise up with one voice a ceaseless prayer, imploring the Holy Spirit to send the gift of peace.

His Holiness urgently calls on the international community to protect all those affected or threatened by the violence, and to guarantee all necessary assistance – especially the most urgently needed aid – to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others.

The Pope also appeals to the conscience of all people, and to each and every believer he repeats: "May the God of peace create in all an authentic desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is not conquered with violence. Violence is conquered with peace! Let us pray in silence, asking for peace; everyone, in silence.... Mary Queen of peace, pray for us!" (Angelus, July 20, 2014).




August 9 2014



His Excellency
Mr Ban Ki-moon
Secretary General
United Nations Organization

It is with a heavy and anguished heart that I have been following the dramatic events of these past few days in Northern Iraq where Christians and other religious minorities have been forced to flee from their homes and witness the destruction of their places of worship and religious patrimony. Moved by their plight, I have asked His Eminence Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, who served as the Representative of my predecessors, Pope St John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, to the people in Iraq, to manifest my spiritual closeness and to express my concern, and that of the entire Catholic Church, for the intolerable suffering of those who only wish to live in peace, harmony and freedom in the land of their forefathers.

In the same spirit, I write to you, Mr Secretary-General, and place before you the tears, the suffering and the heartfelt cries of despair of Christians and other religious minorities of the beloved land of Iraq. In renewing my urgent appeal to the international community to take action to end the humanitarian tragedy now underway, I encourage all the competent organs of the United Nations, in particular those responsible for security, peace, humanitarian law and assistance to refugees, to continue their efforts in accordance with the Preamble and relevant Articles of the United Nations Charter.

The violent attacks that are sweeping across Northern Iraq cannot but awaken the consciences of all men and women of goodwill to concrete acts of solidarity by protecting those affected or threatened by violence and assuring the necessary and urgent assistance for the many displaced people as well as their safe return to their cities and their homes. The tragic experiences of the Twentieth Century, and the most basic understanding of human dignity, compels the international community, particularly through the norms and mechanisms of international law, to do all that it can to stop and to prevent further systematic violence against ethnic and religious minorities.

Confident that my appeal, which I unite with those of the Oriental Patriarchs and other religious leaders, will meet with a positive reply, I take this opportunity to renew to your Excellency the assurances of my highest consideration.

From the Vatican, 9 August 2014