- Catholic News Service
- Feb 8, 2019
The declaration signed by Pope Francis and Sheik Ahmad el-Tayeb, the grand imam of al-Azhar, during the pope’s trip to the United Arab Emirates “is a clarion call for robust dialogue that leads to peace,” said the Catholic chairman of the National Catholic-Muslim Dialogue and the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs.
Religious leaders who took part in an interfaith summit with Pope Francis in the United Arab Emirates say they were impressed, but want to see concrete applications.
Pope Francis said Wednesday that his recent trip to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates was a step forward in Catholic-Muslim dialogue and promoting peace among religions.
Speaking of the sexual abuse of nuns by priests, Pope Francis said on Tuesday: “Do we need to do more? Yes. Is there the will to do more? Yes. But it’s a path that takes time.”
Against the backdrop of the first papal visit to the Arabian Peninsula is an interfaith conference that includes prominent U.S. rabbis and Christian evangelicals, who are seeking stronger recognition of Israel through closer ties with Muslim figures and Arab leaders.
Pope Francis on Tuesday praised the 130,000 Catholics in the United Arab Emirates hailing from 100 different countries as a “choir composed of numerous nations, languages and rites.”
On Tuesday, Pope Francis will visit St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Abu Dhabi — one of two total Catholic churches for the Arabian city with a population of 1.42 million.
Extolling religious freedom on Monday, Pope Francis said, ““What we are called to do as believers is to commit ourselves to the equal dignity of all, in the name of the Merciful One who created us.”