- Dec 9, 2019
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.”
Lebanon is a message of freedom and an example of pluralism for East and West, according to Christian and Muslim leaders who met in the country for a conference. “Lebanon sends a message of hope to the Arabs and to the world,” they wrote in a statement.
Six years ago, a pope addressed Egypt, expressing outrage over an attack on a Christian church and calling for efforts against religious extremism, and the political and clerical establishment bristled. Now, Pope Francis came to Egypt and said much the same thing, and was embraced. One thing that seems to have changed is the mounting frustration of ordinary people here with terrorism and violence.
Saying Mass in a soccer stadium owned and operated by the all-powerful Egyptian army, and surrounded by thick security protocols, Pope Francis on Saturday continued his campaign for peace in a country often torn by political and religious conflict, insisting that the only fanaticism pleasing to God is that of fanaticism about charity.
Ahead of Pope Francis’s visit to Egypt, the spiritual head of the Orthodox Church, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, offered a blueprint for the future of interreligious dialogue based upon recognizing the central role religion plays in human life. He was speaking Thursday at the same event Pope Francis was scheduled to address on Friday.
An Indian priest living in Egypt says Pope Francis’s visit has special significance not only in promoting dialogue between Al Azhar and the Vatican, but also in strengthening the culture of peace and coexistence between followers of Christianity and Islam.