Pope Francis Visiting Iraq
Christians once made up a sizable minority in Iraq.
Pope Francis is making his first-ever papal visit to Iraq. He's there for three days to encourage the small Christian population to help rebuild the country after years of war and persecution. Christians once made up a sizable minority in Iraq, but their numbers began to dwindle following the U.S. invasion in 2003. 11 years later, more fled to escape the violence of the so-called Islamic State.
What is the future of the papacy?
Francis didn’t replace a pope who had died. He succeeded Pope Benedict XVI, a conservative, who was the first pontiff to retire in 600 years.
Pope Francis Presides Over Pope Benedict's Funeral In Vatican City
Benedict was the leader of the church’s conservative wing and is considered one of the world’s greatest theologians.
Faithful Mourn Benedict XVI At Funeral Presided Over By Pope
Pope Francis opened the service with a prayer and closed it by solemnly blessing the simple casket.
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