Pope urges unity against fanaticism at Cairo mass

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 8, 2017

In addition to Francis' main message of repudiating religiously inspired violence, the two-day visit is also meant to lift the spirits of Egypt's estimated 9 million Christians.

However, when it comes to local politics, "I do not get involved", he said. "My husband was everything".

The Rev. Oliver Borg Olivier, a Jesuit priest from Malta who has lived in Egypt for 22 years, said the country felt more secure following el-Sissi's rise, and that was essential for tourism, a key industry.

There, he warmly embraced Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, Al-Azhar's grand imam who hosted the pope and other senior Muslim and Christian leaders, students and scholars at a peace conference in a hall featuring a mock-up of the famous Al-Azhar mosque, complete with faux windows and flooded with purple lights.

Alberto Melloni, the director of a liberal Catholic research institution, the John XXIII Foundation for Religious Studies in Bologna, said that in the days leading up to the speech, Francis repeatedly made reference to the saint's visit centuries ago and saw his own mission in a similar vein. "The Egyptian people seem happy with it, too. And I can tell you also, I don't believe that the president of China, who is a very respected man, will be happy either".

"We are sending a message of peace around the world, and now he is joining us in this message".

Unless we also "tear apart the veil clouding our vision and shatter the hardness of our hearts and our prejudices, we will never be able to recognize the face of God".

On the case of Giulio Regeni, an Italian student and political activist who was living in Cairo, and whose body was discovered in January 2016 bearing signs of torture, that the parents asked the Vatican to get involved and it's "trying to help" encourage Egyptian authorities to get to the bottom of what happened. "We have many problems in our region but we think, we hope, and we pray that we succeed in building a new country".

He gave several nods to Egypt in Arabic, mentioning the motto of the 1952 Revolution: "al-din lillah wal watan liljami" - "Religion belongs to God and the nation to all"; he ended his speech with, "Shukran wa tahya misr!"

"We love him so much".

We must follow the same path of the disciples, not remaining in doubt or despair, focused only on the cross, but coming to realize the truth and hope of the resurrection, he said, stressing that "we can not encounter God without first crucifying our narrow notions of a god who reflects only our own understanding of omnipotence and power".

Like many in the crowd, James Bolden picked up a free white Pope Francis cap and scarf featuring logos from the visit.

"The only ones unhappy are ISIS and the fanatics", he said.

Commenting on the security measures marking the visit, former police brigadier general Khaled Okasha said "the security measures have contributed to the success of Pope Francis' visit to Cairo, especially since the Pope has had a busy schedule and was moving around different areas and attending different events, which made the security forces' mission harder".

"Yesterday in the prayer meeting we found the three big religious leaders were sitting on the same stage, just praying along with the Vatican, the Pope".

"I will just communicate to [Mr Trump].do not play into his hands", he told a news conference after the ASEAN summit in Manila.

"God will protect us", said Nada Youssef, 30, as she clutched the free ticket she received through her church and waited to clear the metal detectors stationed at every entrance.

"No, it was not a slip of the tongue", Pope Francis said, adding that there are some refugee camps in the world-but definitely not in Germany-that "are real concentration camps".

"I talk about values", he said, and then it is up to each individual to look and judge whether this particular government or nation or person is "delivering these values".

"We need to cleanse religions from wrong notions, false piety and fraudulent implementations which stoke conflicts and incite hatred and violence", he said.

Altre relazioniGrafFiotech

Discuti questo articolo

Segui i nostri GIORNALE