Hope builds bridges between cultures

Drawing on the “Servant of Hope” theme of his recent trip to Morocco, Pope Francis told the faithful at his General Audience last week that “to serve hope in our day is to build bridges between cultures”.

Thanking God for allowing him “to take another step along the road of dialogue and encounter with our Muslim brothers and sisters as a Servant of hope in today’s world”, Francis opened up about what he and his host, Morocco’s ruler King Mohammed VI, had discussed during their meeting.

“King Mohammed and I reiterated the essential role religions have in defending human dignity, promoting peace and justice, and in caring for creation, our common home.”

He said one of the topics he and Mohammed discussed during his two-day visit focused on tolerance and coexistence between the three Abrahamic religions – Christianity, Judaism and Islam.

Therefore visiting Muslims as well as Catholics is important, Francis said, because both faiths come from “the same father, Abraham”.

He regards his trip as another step on a journey of “dialogue and encounter with (our) Muslim brothers and sisters.”

Francis also  told those present at the General Audience that people shouldn’t be afraid that God has allowed different religions in the world.

“But we should be frightened if we are not doing the work of fraternity, of walking together in life as brothers and sisters of one human family.”

He said in deciding to make the trip to Morocco, he wanted to follow in the footsteps of two great saints: St Francis of Assisi, who brought a “message of peace and fraternity” to Sultan al-Malik al-Kami 800 years ago, and St John Paul II who visited Morocco in 1985.

An additional benefit of his trip, he said, was that it provided him with the opportunity to thank the Church in Morocco for its commitment towards migrants and for encouraging “those who give generous service in realising the words of Christ.”

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News category: World.

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