The Good Samaritan: The Pope in Iraq

The historic visit of Pope Francis to Iraq one year ago is the subject of a new documentary film that will premiere next week in New York.

“We don’t look to the catastrophe of Iraq, to the wounds of Iraq like before, because the pope came and he put his hand, like the Good Samaritan, on this wound, on this wounded man, Iraq,” said Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Yousif Thomas Mirkis, O.P., of Kirkuk and Sulaymaniyah in northern Iraq. 

“Now, the wounds of this man will become a sign, will become something beautiful, because the Christ, the Samaritan pope, touched him. Now,” he continued, “Iraq is not the same as before. 

“This is a new Iraq.”

“Francis in Iraq” will premiere on Tuesday, 22 March, at the Sheen Center for Thought and Culture, 18 Bleeker Street, New York, New York, at 6:30 p.m. Commissioned by Iraq’s Chaldean Catholic Church, the documentary follows the pontiff’s historic visit to the land between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers, featuring visits to parishes and communities of the apostolic churches of Iraq, as well as gatherings of leaders from Iraq’s many faith communities. 

To secure your tickets to the premiere, which will be followed by a roundtable conversation with the producer, Stephen M. Rasche of the Chaldean Catholic Archeparchy of Erbil, visit

“I cannot speak in the name of everybody,” said Archbishop Mirkus, “but the seed of hope is stronger than before.”

“Many Christians tell us, ‘We felt the celebration of Easter when the Holy Father was here,’ ” said Iraqi Sister Caroline Saeed Jarjis, a member of the Daughters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Erbil.“He offered a vision for another Iraq.”

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