Pope defends Iraqi trip despite COVID-19 risk, says God will provide

By Philip Pullella ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (Reuters) – Pope Francis said on Monday that he decided to visit Iraq despite a rise in COVID-19 cases after much prayer and contemplation and suggested God would protect those who came to see him from the virus. Speaking to reporters on the plane returning from his trip, Francis also said he realised that some conservative Catholics would see his meeting with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, as “one step from heresy” but that sometimes it was necessary to take a risk in inter-religious relations. The 84-year-old Francis, speaking while standing for abo…

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HEDGE accordingly