TAKE ACTION: Raise awareness of the Pope's visit to Iraq in your church and community! Ask your elected officials to take steps expressing U.S. repentance for the harm U.S. foreign policy has caused in Iraq!

Art Laffin, Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace, has crafted language below for people in the U.S. to use in offering "expressions of sorrow and repentance" for 30 years of U.S. warmaking, sanctions and oppression in Iraq.

In light of Pope Francis's historic visit to Iraq, we invite members of Pax Christi USA and all followers of Jesus in the U.S. to join together in publicly asking God for forgiveness for thirty years of U.S. military intervention in Iraq, and to apologize to the Iraqi people for the death and suffering the U.S. has caused.
God commands us: "Thou shalt not kill!" Jesus commands us to "Love one another." Since 1991, when the U.S. first began its direct military intervention in Iraq, the U.S. has defied these divine commands by its bombings, sanctions, torture and occupation. God forgive us! We pray in repentance for these U.S. crimes against the Iraqi people, that have resulted in over a million Iraqi deaths and countless injuries; the contamination of land and water; millions of refugees; immeasurable trauma for an entire society; dire poverty; political, economic and social instability; and an endless cycle of violence. We apologize to the people of Iraq and we ask forgiveness for these atrocities and injustices. 

We appeal to the U.S. government to apologize to the people of Iraq for the death and suffering it has inflicted on them. If there is any hope to make true peace with Iraq, the U.S. government must apologize and make reparations to the Iraqi people for its warmaking and occupation and withdraw all present troops, CIA and private contractors from Iraq.

Take action by:

> Incorporate language from above into the prayers of the faithful at your places of worship this weekend and next.
> Use the language above to write letters to the editor or post on social media (use the hashtags #PopeFrancisinIraq #NoMoreBlood4Oil).
> Contact your Members of Congress with the message that the U.S. must apologize to the Iraqi people and offer reparations for the damage we have caused. You can use the words above as a template for your calls, emails and letters.