The California Catholic Daily website reports today (February 1, 2012) that Archbishop Timothy Broglio -- the U.S. Archbishop for Military Services -- said the collapse of Iraq's Christian population is among the legacies of America's invasion in 2003.
Archbishop Broglio made his comments only one month after the final pullout of U.S. troops from Iraq, where they remained following the invasion that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein.
Aid agencies estimate that over the course of eight years, the Catholic population of Iraq fell from more than 800,000 in 2003 to fewer than 150,000 today.
Archbishop Broglio said he believes Catholicism suffered after the U.S. invasion because of a perceived closeness to its previous ruler. He added that Saddam Hussein tended "to trust Catholics, and gave them positions of responsibility."