ANKAWA, Iraq — Last Sunday, His Holiness Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East Mar Georgis III Sliwa met with His Holiness Pope Francis following the Divine Mass presided over by the Pope at the Franso Hariri Stadium in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI).
Patriarch Sliwa was accompanied by Mar Paulus Benjamin — Bishop of the Eastern America Diocese, Mar Abras Yukhanna — Bishop of the Diocese of Erbil and Kirkuk, and Mar Elia Isaac — Bishop of the Diocese of Baghdad, Ukraine, and Georgia.
“My heartfelt greetings to His Holiness Patriarch Mar Georges III Sliwa, Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, who lives in this city and we are honored by his presence,” said the Pope. “Thank you, dear brother.”
He continued, “With you I embrace Christians of different sects: here many of them shed their blood on this same land. Our martyrs shine together like stars in the same sky. From there, they ask us to walk together without hesitation towards unity.”
Patriarch Sliwa presented Pope Francis with a commemorative gift, a cup for mass, with words commemorating the meeting between them.