Pope wants to visit Iraq in 2020, berates arms exporters

International

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis says he wants to visit Iraq next year, although a date for a trip hasn’t been announced.

Francis revealed his desire to go to war-ravaged Iraq at the Vatican on Monday while greeting members of a committee aiding Eastern Rite churches. In his speech, he also cited fighting in Syria and Ukraine.

The pope said he thinks about “the wrath of God which will be unleashed against the leaders of countries who speak of peace and sell arms” for foreign wars.

Francis didn’t name the countries he was referring to but said: “This hypocrisy is a sin.”

He also said that while some European governments close ports to refugees fleeing conflicts, they allow ships to take on cargo of “costly armaments, capable of producing devastation that doesn’t even spare children.”

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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