Source: Associated Press
By NICOLE WINFIELD and SUSANNAH GEORGE
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The head of Iraq’s Chaldean Catholic Church complained on Tuesday that promised U.S. aid for religious minorities in Iraq hasn’t materialized, issuing an unusual public rebuke of the United States on the same day Washington announced a new infusion of assistance.
Cardinal Louis Raphael I Sako spoke at a Vatican briefing as Mark Green, USAID administrator, was at the Vatican for talks and announced a near doubling of funding — to about $300 million since last year — and on-the-ground results.
“There are promises, but the reality is that there’s been nothing up to now,” Sako said, when asked about the U.S. aid. “Today, we need to help and encourage Christians to remain in place, help them to find work, repair their homes, give them a hope. Emptying these places is a mortal sin, truly.”
He praised Hungary by contrast, saying it had provided $5 million in direct assistance to repair Christian homes, schools and churches in Iraq and Syria rather than take refugees in.