The Pope ends his pastoral visit to Bahrain on November 6. “Pope Francis invites us to live together in an inclusive way, and his words encourage us to bear witness to Christ in society,” explained Cardinal Rai, Maronite patriarch of Antioch.
(Vatican News Network)Pope Francis visited the Kingdom of Bahrain from November 3 to 6. On November 5, he held a holy mass for the faithful of the local church at the National Stadium of Bahrain. Among the priests who joined the Pope were the Lebanese cardinal and Maronite patriarch of Antioch of Béchara. Boutros Raï). Card Rai speaks to this news network about the significance of Pope Francis’ fifth pilgrimage for peace and dialogue in the Muslim-majority country. Previously, the Pope visited the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, Iraq and Kazakhstan.
“I think that the Pope wants to do these visits, in Arab countries with Christians or five in Muslim-majority countries, in order to continue Naimah and the Grand Imam of Azhar,” said Card Rai. The journey started by the documents signed in Abu Dhabi”.
The Maronite Patriarch made it clear that, on the trajectory of the Abu Dhabi Document and the Pope’s encyclical “Brethren”, “the Pope wishes to inspire us more strongly, urging us to live together in an inclusive way, never to eliminate Diversity, because we will never be the same, and we should live in this reality.”
Card Rai concluded by saying that the Pope “has always stressed this. He encouraged us Christians living in the Arab world to have the courage to stay, not to see our numbers and say ‘we are a minority’. No, don’t talk about it. Minority or majority, but Presence: Christians are called to bear witness to Christ and Christian values in society or in the place where they live. So this enriches the social values in their place, and society is transformed by Christian values It is very colorful. This is the key to my interpretation of the Pope’s visit to Bahrain.”
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