- May 11, 2021
Two prominent Vatican prelates waded into hot-button issues in the areas of ecumenical and interfaith dialogue, voicing a desire to increase dialogue with China and outlining the Catholic Church’s rules for intercommunion.
The meeting between Pope Francis and Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali al-Husaymi al-Sistani can make a difference in America, says Cardinal Wilton Gregory, because it demonstrated “that people from different religious traditions can work together in a spirit of dialogue and mutual respect.”
A top papal aide has praised Pope Francis’s meeting with Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali al-Husaymi al-Sistani while in Iraq earlier this month has been praised by a top papal aide as a significant step forward in Catholic relations with Shia Islam.
If you’d polled 100 Vatican officials and papal diplomats six months ago, probably 99 would have counseled against a papal trip to Iraq.
On Saturday Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi announced a day of tolerance and coexistence in honor of Pope Francis’s historic meeting with top Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali al-Sistani earlier that morning.
U.S. Religious Freedom commissioner Nadine Maenza hopes that Pope Francis’s presence in Iraq can “shine a light” on the situation for the whole world.
Pope Francis’s visit to Iraq could help water a fertile ground for Catholic-Shi’a Islam dialogue.