Tag - meets

Pope meets Egypt’s Muslim leader Ahmed al-Tayeb



(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met on Tuesday with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed Muhammad al-Tayeb who is in Rome to attend a conference organised by the St Egidio community.

No details of the private encounter were released, but the meeting marked the second trip to the Vatican in two years by Egypt’s top Muslim leader. His first meeting with the pope in May 2016 marked an important step forward after five years of suspended dialogue between the Holy See and the prestigious Al-Azhar university.

Pope’s visit to Cairo

In April this year, Pope Francis travelled to Cairo to visit the headquarters of Sunni Muslim scholarship and attend an international peace conference there. During his two day visit to Egypt, the pope urged religious leaders to denounce violations of human rights and expose attempts to justify violence and hatred in the name of God.

Respecful interreligious dialogue

He appealed for respectful interreligious dialogue, saying the only alternative to a culture of civilized encounter is “the incivility of conflict”. Recalling the visit of St Francis to the Sultan in Egypt eight centuries ago, he called for dialogue based on sincerity and the courage to accept differences.

(from Vatican Radio)



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Pope Francis meets ‘The Elders’ to discuss global concerns



(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis had a private meeting at Santa Marta on Monday afternoon with members of The Elders, an independent group of global leaders working for peace and human rights around the world.

The Elders was established 10 years ago by former South African President Nelson Mandela and is currently marking the group’s 10th anniversary with a campaign called “Walk Together”  – continuing Mandela’s long walk to freedom.

Just after the audience, Philippa Hitchen spoke to two of the founding members of The Elders, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Mary Robinson, former Irish President, former UN high commissioner for human rights and, more recently, UN envoy on climate change. Philippa began by asking Kofi Annan about the issues they were able to discuss during their papal audience…

Listen:



The former UN leader says it was important for four representatives of the group to come to the Vatican because they share many common interests and values. He says they wanted to engage with Pope Francis and “discuss how we can work together, how we can pool our efforts on some of these issues”.

Peace, migration, climate change, gender equality

Among the areas of discussion, he continues, were the questions of migration, nuclear weapons peace, mediation and conflicts, as well as climate change and gender equality, that is “the importance of giving women a voice and respecting their role”. He adds “I hope this will be the first of many meetings”.

Shared efforts to be a voice for marginalised

Former Irish President Mary Robinson says the group came to express “an appreciation for the role he is playing and the fact that he, like The Elders, is trying to be a voice for the voiceless and the marginalized, trying to deal with the most difficult areas of conflict.

She says they also spoke about countries including Venezuela and Congo, as well as focusing on climate change, all issues, she notes, where “the pope has given leadership”.

Common values, common sense of purpose

Robinson says she was also struck by the “warmth and affection and humour” in their meeting. “I was very struck by how relaxed the pope was with us, how much he joked”, she says, adding that Pope Francis seemed to “feel at home” as they discussed “common values, a common moral purpose, common problems”

I think he could be a future ‘Elder’, Annan says and Robinson quips, “I think he’s a Super Elder”.

Over the coming days we will be featuring further excerpts from this interview, as Kofi Annan and Mary Robinson discuss the COP23 climate conference, gender equality in politics, the role of diplomacy and peacemaking, migration and refugees, as well as the situation in Myanmar as Pope Francis prepares to travel there at the end of November.

(from Vatican Radio)



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Pope meets students, staff of “Institution des Chartreux”‎



(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis on Thursday urged students of a French Catholic School to watch out against the lure and slavery of money, and train themselves to be promoters and defenders of equality and justice in the world. 

Some 80 students and staff of Institution des Chartreux of Lyons, in Rome as part of their semester, met the Pope in the Vatican.  Known commonly as Les Chartreux, the private school is managed by the Carthusians. 

Lure and slavery of money

The Pope expressed satisfaction that while they were preparing themselves to enter the big commercial schools to pursue professional careers in the world of finance, their current academic formation at Les Chartreux was providing them a strong human, philosophical and cultural dimension.  “It is essential,” he said, “that from now on and in your future professional life you learn to be free from the ‘lure of money’, from the slavery into which money shuts those who worship it.”    He said it is also important that they have the “strength and courage not to blindly obey the invisible hand of the market.”  “Hence,” he said, “I encourage you to make the best of your study time to train yourselves to become promoters and defenders of growth in equity, and artisans of an upright and adequate administration of our common home, the world.” 

Just and humane world

Pope Francis further exhorted them to become responsible for this world and for the life of every man, never forgetting that “every injustice against a poor person is an open wound and belittles your very dignity.”    He told the students to find the means and the time to take on the path of brotherhood to create bridges rather than walls among men in order to add their stone to building a more just and humane society.   He concluded encouraging them to work for good and be a humble seed of a new world.  

(from Vatican Radio)



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Pope meets Italian mayors, municipalities



(Vatican Radio)  The image of a city that the New Jerusalem evokes is one of a human society that is based on true solidarity, whereas where envy, unbridled ambitions and spirit of adversity grow, it condemns itself to the violence of chaos.

The common good

Pope Francis made the point on Saturday while addressing some 300 members of the National Association of Italian Municipalities (ANCI) in the Vatican.   The model of the city or town that the Pope proposed to them is one that “does not permit a one-way traffic of exasperated individualism,” that does not tolerate the “blind alleys of corruption” that breeds disintegration, and where there are no “walls of the privatization of public spaces, where the “us” is but a rhetoric ploy that “masks the interest of a few.”

The Pope urged the town and city officials to have “the passion for the common good” that grants each one and his family the possibility to realize themselves and open themselves in communion with others

Solidarity and human brotherhood

Speaking about areas that lack quality services he said it is where new “pockets of poverty and marginalization” breed.  “This,” he said, “is where the city moves on a double lane.”  “On the one hand there is a highway of those who are overly cared for and on the other there are the “bottlenecks of the poor and unemployed, the numerous families and immigrants who have no one to count on.”  “We must not accept these plans that divide and make the life of one be the death of the other,” the Pope said, adding, “the struggle itself ends up destroying any sense of solidarity and human brotherhood.”

Learn from the poor

The Pope thus urged the city and town administrations to visit the urban, social and existential peripheries under them, saying the “point of view of the least is the best school that will make us understand the true needs”  and their solutions.  While making us feel the “pulse of injustice” they will also show us the way to eliminate it and create a community where each one is recognized as a person and citizen with rights and duties.   The Pope said that if a mayor is close to his people, things go well always.

Migrants, refugees

Speaking about the issue of Italy’s massive problem with migrants and refugees, the Pope said he can well understand the difficulties of the nation grappling with an economic crisis, local communities’ unpreparedness and inadequate measures to deal with the emergencies.  He said this difficulty can be overcome by offering spaces for personal encounter and knowledge of one another

He commended initiatives that “promote the culture of encounter, mutual exchange of artistic and cultural riches, and the knowledge of the places and communities of origin of the new arrivals.”  Pope Francis expressed satisfaction that many city and town administrations have adopted the “the good practice of welcome and integration, with encouraging results” which he said should be spread wide. 

(from Vatican Radio)



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Card Parolin meets with Russian President Putin



(Vatican Radio) Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin yesterday met with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the presidential residence in Sochi.

According to a statement from the Holy See Press Office the meeting lasted for about an hour and was held in a positive, friendly, and respectful atmosphere with an open exchange of views on various themes including international and bilateral relations.

At the end of the talks, the Secretary of State gave President Putin a bronze representation of an olive branch, a symbol of peace.

The Russian President returned the gesture with the gift of a collection of coins dedicated to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

Cardinal Parolin was expected to celebrate a private Mass this morning at the Nunciature in Moscow before returning to Rome. 

(from Vatican Radio)



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Pope Francis meets with Canadian Prime Minister



(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis on Monday met with the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, and his wife, Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, in a private audience in the Vatican.

A communique from the Holy See Press Office said their discussions were “cordial”.

“[T]he good bilateral relations between the Holy See and Canada were evoked, along with the contribution of the Catholic Church to the social life of the country. The parties then focused on the themes of integration and reconciliation, as well as religious freedom and current ethical issues.”

The statement also said, “in the light of the results of the recent G7 summit, attention turned to various matters of an international nature, with special attention to the Middle East and areas of conflict.”

Mr. Trudeau met afterwards with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, and Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States.

(from Vatican Radio)



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Pope meets with Papal Foundation



(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received members of the Papal Foundation on Thursday who are on their annual visit to the Vatican. The Holy Father thanked them for supporting many religious and charitable causes and encouraged them, as a vital part of their “commitment to the work of the Papal Foundation, to pray for the needs of the poor, the conversion of hearts, the spread of the Gospel, and the Church’s growth in holiness and missionary zeal.”

Below please find the English translation of the Pope’s address to members of the Papal Foundation.

I am pleased to greet the members of The Papal Foundation on this, your annual visit to Rome.  Our meeting today is pervaded by the joy of the Easter season, as the Church celebrates the Lord’s victory over death and his gift of new life in the Holy Spirit.  It is my hope that your pilgrimage to the Eternal City will strengthen you in faith and hope, and in your commitment to promote the Church’s mission by supporting so many religious and charitable causes close to the heart of the Pope.

            Today’s world, so often torn by violence, greed and indifference, greatly needs our witness to the Gospel message of hope in the redemptive and reconciling power of God’s love.  I am grateful for your desire to assist the Church’s efforts to proclaim that message of hope to the ends of the earth and to work for the spiritual and material advancement of our brothers and sisters throughout the world, especially in developing countries.  Each of us, as a living member of Christ’s body, is called to foster the unity and peace that is the Father’s will, in Christ, for our human family and all its members.  I ask you, as a vital part of your commitment to the work of the Papal Foundation, to pray for the needs of the poor, the conversion of hearts, the spread of the Gospel, and the Church’s growth in holiness and missionary zeal.  And I ask you, please, not to forget to pray for me!

            Dear friends, with these words of encouragement, and with great affection, I commend you and your families to the loving intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church.  To all of you I impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of abiding joy and peace in the Lord.

(from Vatican Radio)



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