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Kabul’s Priest

Kris Dmytrenko

March 6, 2008
abmoretti.JPGIn a dark period between a hail of shrapnel in 1994 and a papal decree in 2002, not one priest remained in Afghanistan. This statistic may not surprise you, given that the country was ruled by the fanatical Taliban for the majority of those years. But considering Jesus’ great commission to “make disciples of all nations” was proclaimed not so far away, despairingly little progress over has been made in evangelizing Afghanistan in two thousand years.
Fr. Guiseppe Moretti was stationed in Kabul before a mujahideen rocket struck the Italian embassy, which contained the country’s lone Catholic church. Wounded by shrapnel, the Barnabite priest returned to Italy. Once the Taliban was ousted, though, Pope John Paul II asked Fr. Moretti to become the superior of Afghanistan’s mission sui iuris, where he has continued to serve a community of diplomats and international workers since 2002. Still celebrating Mass in the embassy chapel, Fr. Moretti prays for the peace and freedom that would one day permit an open church for the public.
I was determined to interview Fr. Moretti since reading about his work one year ago. In a telephone interview from Kabul, you’ll meet a true missionary who has made a life’s work of serving the war-torn country. Catholic Focus: At War is now streaming online.