Patriarch Sako on the donated Lamborghini: “We thank Pope Francis for the fatherly gesture”

Patriarch Sako on the donated Lamborghini: “We thank Pope Francis for the fatherly gesture”


“We are very grateful to Pope Francis for making this fatherly gesture. The pontifex is the father of the whole church and thinks of everyone, particularly those who are suffering as greatly as we are.” This is how the Chaldean Catholic Patriarch of Babylon, Louis Raphaël I. Sako, responded to the news that the one-of-a-kind Lamborghini Huracan, which the car manufacturer had given to the pope on 15 November of last year, had been auctioned off on 12 May for 715,000 euros. In accordance with the wishes of the pope, the proceeds are being used for charitable purposes, with a large portion of the total proceeds going to Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) to support projects helping to rebuild the Christian villages on the Nineveh Plains in Iraq.


Lamborghini Huracan

Lamborghini Huracan, the car given to the pope on 15 November of last year


“The pope never stops showing Iraqi Christians that he is there for them,” the patriarch, who is currently in Erbil, said. “This gift fills us with great hope and is a source of tremendous encouragement! It is important for us to remain here, to resume our lives in Iraq and to bear witness to our faith and to the values of the gospels here.”

ACN’s plans to rebuild the Christian villages on the Nineveh Plains have made it possible for a large number of Christians to return to their homes. On 7 May, the number of families returning to the Nineveh Plains region totalled 8,768, which is more than 45 per cent of the 19,452 families who had been forced to flee as the Islamic State invaded in August of 2014.


Nineveh Reconstruction Projects

Nineveh Reconstruction Projects


“We will be able to do even more with the gift of the pope. I thank the Holy Father with all my heart, but at the same time ask all who are able – even if it is only in a very small way – to help support the Christians on the Nineveh Plains, the people who represent the roots of our faith.”

On 12 May, just as the Lamborghini went on the auction block, parliamentary elections were being held in Iraq. The final election results are not in yet, but projections show the Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr in the lead and thus as the candidate who will be the next prime minister. “Al Sadr has always shown himself very sympathetic to minorities, but if he wins, we will first have to see with whom he forms a coalition. Voter turnout was very low because Iraqis have lost their faith in politicians. There is a lack of concrete programmes and projects and corruption is very widespread. Confusion prevails, but we hope that the new political class will do good and, first and foremost, be able to unite such a severely divided country as Iraq.”

Since IS began to advance in June of 2014, ACN has donated 37,703,054 euros for emergency aid and humanitarian projects in Iraq. The pontifical foundation is the most actively involved aid organisation on the Nineveh Plains.


My gift to support the ACN mission with the persecuted Christians and those in need.


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Founded in 1947 as a Catholic aid organization for war refugees and recognized as a papal foundation since 2011, ACN is dedicated to the service of Christians around the world, through information, prayer and action, wherever they are persecuted or oppressed or suffering material need. ACN supports every year an average of 5000 projects in close to 150 countries, thanks to private donations, as the foundation receives no public funding.