By Marta Petrosillo
A brand new, special edition Lamborghini Huracan sports car presented to Pope Francis will be auctioned off and the proceeds donated to charity.
Part of the funds raised from the Sotheby’s auction will go to the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) to help with its work rebuilding Christian settlements on the Nineveh Plains destroyed by Daesh (ISIS).
The project helps displaced Christians, who have been dependent on emergency aid since 2014, to go back to their original towns and villages. “We have thanked the Holy Father and assured him that we will use his gift well – by bringing thousands more Christians back to Nineveh,” said Alfredo Mantovano and Alessandro Monteduro, president and director of ACN (Italy), in a statement. Senior staff from the Italian office of ACN were present on Wednesday morning 15th November for the delivery of the sleek, white car with yellow-gold markings to Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican.
It is not the first time that Pope Francis has supported persecuted Christians in Iraq through ACN. In 2016, he donated €100,000 ($155,000) to the Saint Joseph Hospital in Erbil, Kurdish northern Iraq, where thousands of refugees are being treated.
The Pope’s words of encouragement for the ACN plan for the reconstruction of the Christian villages of the Nineveh Plains were also sent in September through Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin. Cardinal Parolin took part in ACN’s international conference in Rome which looked at the plans to help Iraq’s Christians.
In their statement, Mantovano and Monteduro said: “During today’s meeting we showed Pope Francis the first achievements of our project and the photos of the first families to come home. We also want to stress, together with the Holy Father, that our plan is the result of a significant process of reconciliation and forgiveness, and the result of an agreement between local Churches, whose priests and religious collaborate actively, and work together to practically assist Iraq’s Christians.”
ACN also thanked the sports-car maker Lamborghini. The president and director of ACN (Italy) stated: “The gift to the Pope by the car manufacturer is a good example of how big companies can actually help Christians who suffer.”
Directly under the Holy See, Aid to the Church in Need supports the faithful wherever they are persecuted, oppressed or in pastoral need. ACN is a Catholic charity – helping to bring Christ to the world through prayer, information and action.
The charity undertakes thousands of projects every year including providing transport for clergy and lay Church workers, construction of church buildings, funding for priests and nuns and help to train seminarians. Since the initiative’s launch in 1979, Aid to the Church in Need’s Child’s Bible – God Speaks to his Children has been translated into 172 languages and 50 million copies have been distributed all over the world.
While ACN gives full permission for the media to freely make use of the charity’s press releases, please acknowledge ACN as the source of stories when using the material.
For more information or to make a donation to help the work of Aid to the Church in Need, please contact the Australian office of ACN on (02) 9679-1929. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Aid to the Church in Need PO Box 7246 Baulkham Hills BC NSW 2153.
On Line donations can be made at www.aidtochurch.org