Pope Francis’ Visit to Iraq | Local Reflections

Posted on March 24, 2021

Father Thomas Baima, provost and faculty member at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary and vicar for ecumenical and interreligious affairs, joined other guests on the Catholic Chicago radio program live on AM 750 WNDZ at 8:00-9:00 a.m. (CDT) on Thursday March 25 to explore the ecumenical and interreligious significance of Pope Francis’ recent trip to Iraq.  You can also listen to the program below.

1) The first half hour of the program (8:00-8:30 a.m.) featured a discussion on the impact of the Pope’s recent trip on the local Iraqi Christian community as well as the ongoing Vatican dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East.  Both guests are members of this international dialogue, and Chorbishop Toma, a native Iraqi, shared his unique perspective on the papal visit to his homeland.  Invited guests include:

The Very Rev. Thomas A. Baima is Vicar for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the Archdiocese of Chicago and Provost of the University of Saint Mary of the Lake where he is also a full professor in dogmatic theology.

The Reverend Chorbishop George Toma is Chorbishop of the Diocese of Eastern United States of the Assyrian Church of the East and Rector of Saint Andrew Assyrian Church of the East in Glenview, IL.

2) During the second half hour (8:30-9:00) guests considered the significance of Pope Francis’ trip for Catholic-Muslim relations and spoke about the ways Catholics and Muslims are promoting dialogue in and around Chicago.  Invited Guests include:

Dr. Dan Olsen, Director of the Office for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, Archdiocese of Chicago

Dr. Marcia Hermansen, Professor of Islamic Studies in the Theology Department and Director of the Islamic World Studies Program, Loyola University Chicago

Dr. Scott Alexander, Professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations, and Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program, Catholic Theological Union