Regarding the Pope’s recent trip to Iraq, Sandro Magister notes that in the photograph taken in Ur on the morning of March 6, “Muslims and representatives of other religions can be seen standing alongside Pope Francis, but no Jews.”
And yet should they not have been there?
The Vaticanist points out that “the Jews were taboo throughout Pope Francis’s trip to Iraq.” This self-censorship is explained by the fact that, recently, some Sunni Arab countries have decided to make peace with Israel (“Abraham Accords” between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, September 15, 2020; agreements with Sudan, October 2020, and with Morocco, December 22, 2020).
“Agreements to which Iraq and even more its neighbor Iran,” underlines Sandro Magister, “are strongly hostile, for geopolitical but especially religious reasons - because both have predominantly Shiite Muslims - and this suggests how the diplomats of the Vatican and the Pope himself bowed to their wishes, especially in order to guarantee the safety of the trip, during which the Shiite militias of Iranian persuasion effectively observed a truce.”
Catholic interfaith dialogue with Islam cannot fail to take into account the opposition between Shiism and Sunnism. Clearly, the Jewish enemies of my Muslim friends - divided among themselves - cannot be my friends in Iraq. This is where the Catholic interreligious utopia collides with the Muslim religious reality.