- Oct 26, 2020
Pope Francis has extended the authority of the Eastern Catholic patriarchs to their faithful living in the countries of the Arabian Peninsula.
For the whole Catholic world, August 15 means the Feast of the Assumption. In Italy, it also means ferragosto, the traditional summer holiday that sees the whole country head to either the beach or the mountains, or both, roughly from the second week of August until early September.
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.
Francis is traveling to Abu Dhabi to participate in a conference on interreligious dialogue sponsored the Emirates-based Muslim Council of Elders.
“Al Salamu Alaikum,” Arabic for “peace be with you,” Pope Francis said at the beginning of a video message to the people of the United Arab Emirates, which he will visit Feb. 3-5.
Pope Francis’s visit to the UAE from Feb. 3 through Feb. 5 marks the first papal visit to the Arabian Peninsula, the birthplace of Islam. The pontiff will visit Abu Dhabi, the headquarters of the Catholic Church’s Apostolic Vicariate of Southern Arabia, which covers the UAE, Oman and Yemen.