Pope expresses outrage at violence in Iraq

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Pope expresses outrage at violence in Iraq
Wedding couples sit inside St. Peter's Basilica as they are married by Pope Francis, at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. Forty "I do's", or "Si" in Italian, were pronounced in St. Peter's Basilica Sunday as Pope Francis married 20 couples, with one bride already a mother. Francis in his homily likened families to the "bricks that build society." (AP Photo/Alberto Pizzoli, pool)
Pope Francis delivers his blessing during a wedding ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. Pope Francis married 20 couples Sunday, including some who already live together and those with children, technically a sin in the eyes of the church. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Alessandra Pucci smiles to Francesco Allotta after being married by Pope Francis, during a wedding ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. Pope Francis married 20 couples Sunday, including some who already live together and those with children, technically a sin in the eyes of the church. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Pope Francis, left beneath a baldachin, weds twenty couples inside St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. Forty "I do's", or "Si" in Italian, were pronounced in St. Peter's Basilica Sunday as Pope Francis married 20 couples, with one bride already a mother. Francis in his homily likened families to the "bricks that build society." (AP Photo/Alberto Pizzoli, pool)
Pope Francis leaves after a wedding ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. Pope Francis married 20 couples Sunday, including some who already live together and those with children, technically a sin in the eyes of the church. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Pope Francis, center beneath a baldachin, weds twenty couples in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. Forty "I do's", or "Si" in Italian, were pronounced in St. Peter's Basilica Sunday as Pope Francis married 20 couples, with one bride already a mother. Francis in his homily likened families to the "bricks that build society." (AP Photo/Alberto Pizzoli, pool)
Sara Pisano, left, and Danilo Spagnoli, just married by Pope Francis, attend a wedding ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. Pope Francis married 20 couples Sunday, including some who already live together and those with children, technically a sin in the eyes of the church. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Daniele Landi, left, kisses Chiara Calabrese after being married by Pope Francis, during a wedding ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. Pope Francis married 20 couples Sunday, including some who already live together and those with children, technically a sin in the eyes of the church. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Sara Pisano, left, and Danilo Spagnoli, just married by Pope Francis, smile during the wedding ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. Pope Francis married 20 couples Sunday, including some who already live together and those with children, technically a sin in the eyes of the church. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Pope Francis (R) and Italian cardinal Agostino Vallini attend the Conference of Rome's diocese on June 16, 2014 at Paul VI audience hall at the Vatican. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis is framed by a balcony as he weds twenty couples in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. Forty "I do's", or "Si" in Italian, were pronounced in St. Peter's Basilica Sunday as Pope Francis married 20 couples, with one bride already a mother. Francis in his homily likened families to the "bricks that build society." (AP Photo/Alberto Pizzoli, pool)
Pope Francis, top center beneath a baldachin, weds twenty couples in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. Forty "I do's", or "Si" in Italian, were pronounced in St. Peter's Basilica Sunday as Pope Francis married 20 couples, with one bride already a mother. Francis in his homily likened families to the "bricks that build society." (AP Photo/Alberto Pizzoli, pool)
Newly married couples attend a wedding ceremony led by Pope Francis in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. Pope Francis married 20 couples Sunday, including some who already live together and those with children, technically a sin in the eyes of the church. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Pope Francis prays during a wedding ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. Pope Francis married 20 couples Sunday, including some who already live together and those with children, technically a sin in the eyes of the church. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Pope Francis holds the pastoral staff during a wedding ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. Pope Francis married 20 couples Sunday, including some who already live together and those with children, technically a sin in the eyes of the church. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Pope Francis, left, celebrates a wedding ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. Pope Francis married 20 couples Sunday, including some who already live together and those with children, technically a sin in the eyes of the church. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Pope Francis holds the pastoral staff during a wedding ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. Pope Francis married 20 couples Sunday, including some who already live together and those with children, technically a sin in the eyes of the church. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Pope Francis (R) and Italian cardinal Agostino Vallini attend the Conference of Rome's diocese on June 16, 2014 at Paul VI audience hall at the Vatican. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis greets people as he arrives at the Conference of Rome's diocese on June 16, 2014 at Paul VI audience hall at the Vatican. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis (R) and Italian cardinal Agostino Vallini attend the Conference of Rome's diocese on June 16, 2014 at Paul VI audience hall at the Vatican. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis (R) and Italian cardinal Agostino Vallini attend the Conference of Rome's diocese on June 16, 2014 at Paul VI audience hall at the Vatican. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis (R) and Italian cardinal Agostino Vallini attend the Conference of Rome's diocese on June 16, 2014 at Paul VI audience hall at the Vatican. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis (R) and Italian cardinal Agostino Vallini attend the Conference of Rome's diocese on June 16, 2014 at Paul VI audience hall at the Vatican. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis (C) greets people as he arrives at the Conference of Rome's diocese on June 16, 2014 at Paul VI audience hall at the Vatican. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)
Guido Tassara, left, and Gabriella Improta, just married by Pope Francis, exchange rings during a wedding ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. Pope Francis married 20 couples Sunday, including some who already live together and those with children, technically a sin in the eyes of the church. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Pope Francis greets people as he arrives at the Conference of Rome's diocese on June 16, 2014 at Paul VI audience hall at the Vatican. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis greets people as he arrives at the Conference of Rome's diocese on June 16, 2014 at Paul VI audience hall at the Vatican. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis arrives to at the Conference of Rome's diocese on June 16, 2014 at Paul VI audience hall at the Vatican. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - JUNE 15: Pope Francis is seen walking through Santa Maria in Trastevere Square on a screen as he arrives at the St. Egidio Community on June 15, 2014 in Rome, Italy. Pope Francis visited the Community of Sant'Egidio at a meeting dedicated essentially to the poor, who are 'at the heart of the Gospel of Jesus' and constitute a fundamental commitment of the Community as friendship as service. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - JUNE 15: Pope Francis walks through Santa Maria in Trastevere Square meeting the faithful as he arrives at the St. Egidio Community on June 15, 2014 in Rome, Italy. Pope Francis visited the Community of Sant'Egidio at a meeting dedicated to the poor. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
Pope Francis flanked by Cardinal Agostino Vallini attends the opening of Rome's Diocese Conference at the Vatican, Monday, June16, 2014. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Pope Francis flanked by Cardinal Agostino Vallini delivers his message on the occasion of the opening of Rome's Diocese Conference at the Vatican, Monday, June16, 2014. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
In this picture made available by the Vatican newspaper L' Osservatore Romano, Pope Francis greets Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson during his meeting with the participants in the Conference organized by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace titled "Investing for the Poor" at the Vatican, Monday, June 16, 2014. (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano)
Pope Francis greets people as he arrives at the Conference of Rome's diocese on June 16, 2014 at Paul VI audience hall at the Vatican. AFP PHOTO / ALBERTO PIZZOLI (Photo credit should read ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP/Getty Images)
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VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Francis has expressed outrage at the violence aimed at religious minorities in Iraq, where fleeing children have died of thirst, and said his emissary to the region would leave Monday.

In a strongly worded message during his traditional Sunday blessing, Francis said the news from Iraq "leaves us in disbelief." He cited "the thousands of people, including Christians, who have been brutally forced from their homes, children who have died from thirst during the escape and women who have been seized."

The pope urged the international community to find a political solution "to stop these crimes."

Cardinal Fernando Filoni, the Vatican's ambassador in Baghdad during the Iraqi war, will travel to Iraq to show solidarity with Christians, among those targeted by Islamic State militants for elimination.

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