Visit Pope Francis to Iraq was worried because of the second wave of the corona virus there, and security risks.
He said that after praying a lot, he gained confidence that God would take care of the Iraqi people who might be exposed to Covid-19.
“I prayed a lot about this. And in the end, I took a carefree decision,” the 84-year-old pope was quoted as saying Associated Press (AP).
“(The decision) came from the heart. I said, ‘He (God) who made me decide like this will take care of people.'”
“I made my decision this way, but after praying and knowing the risks,” continued Pope Francis.
Papal visit This first in Iraq ended on Monday (8/3/2021), after having lasted four days since Friday (5/3/2021).
In every place he visits in Iraq, Pope Francis urges citizens to uphold diversity.
He started from the south by meeting Shiite cleric Ayatollah Ali Sistani, then went to Nineveh in the north to face the Christians who were victims of ISIS oppression.
In the places he visited Pope Francis met people who did not wear masks and did not keep their distance.
In fact, Vatican and Iraqi church officials have promised to implement the Covid-19 health protocol.
Pope Francis, Vatican delegates and travel media have been vaccinated, but most Iraqis have not.
Infectious diseases experts question such travel decisions, given the latest cases of the virus corona in Iraq sparked by a new variant from England.
Covid-19 in Iraq an increase of 4,068 cases on Saturday (6/3/2021), a dramatic increase from the infection rate at the beginning of the year.
In total, 13,500 people have died of corona in Iraq out of the 720,000 cases reported.