Pope Francis, on an official visit to the Kingdom of Morocco at the invitation of King Mohammed VI, held Sunday at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rabat, a meeting with priests, religious and consecrated persons and the World Council of Churches.
At the beginning of the meeting, the Pope warmly greeted Jean-Pierre Schumacher (94), the last survivor of the community of the monks of Tibhirine (Algeria), who currently lives at the Monastery of Our Lady of the Atlas, Midelt. The photo of this moment will remain engraved in the memories.
After the testimonies of Father Germain Goussa and Sister Mary Donlon, the Pope delivered a speech in which he praised the climate in which Christians practice their religion in Morocco, a climate that contributes to strengthening the dialogue, cooperation and dialogue and friendship between Christians and Muslims, calling for rejection of all attempts to use differences and ignorance to spread fear and hatred.
This dialogue is needed in the name of human fraternity undermined and torn apart by many evils, noted the head of the Catholic Church, who emphasized the importance of cooperation between Christians and Muslims to fight against violence, feelings of hatred and ethnic, religious and economic hegemony.
Pope Francis invited priests and religious in Morocco to persevere on the path of dialogue and cooperation, saying that this is the best opportunity to continue working for culture of the meeting.
Subsequently, the Pope symbolically greeted a nun and the doyen of the priests of the diocese before presiding over a private mass.
Muslims and Christians from several Arab, African and European countries took part in this meeting, which comes to consecrate the mixing of cultures and the cohabitation between the religions that mark for centuries the Kingdom, become a singular model thanks to the initiatives launched under the enlightened leadership of HM King Mohammed VI, Amir Al Mouminine, who have made Morocco a country of openness, plurality and diversity within the framework of national unity.
In a statement to the press, the Archbishop of Tangier, Bishop Santiago Agrelo Martinez, affirmed that Muslims and Christians in Morocco are brothers who work for a world where justice and peace reign.
In similar statements, several Christian clerics have affirmed that the presence of Pope Francis at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rabat is of great importance, emphasizing the deep meanings and strong messages sent to the world by the Sovereign Pontiff in the speech delivered on this occasion.