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Monday, September 16, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Pope wants to visit Iraq in 2020, berates arms exporters

Pope Francis delivers the Urbi et Orbi (to the city and to the world) blessing at the end of the Easter Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican , Sunday, April 5, 2015. Pope Francis says he wants to visit Iraq next year, although a date for a trip hasn’t been announced. (OSSERVATORRE ROMANO / AP)
Pope Francis delivers the Urbi et Orbi (to the city and to the world) blessing at the end of the Easter Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican , Sunday, April 5, 2015. Pope Francis says he wants to visit Iraq next year, although a date for a trip hasn’t been announced. (OSSERVATORRE ROMANO / AP)
Associated Press

VATICAN CITY – 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.”

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