Pope Francis to visit Morocco in March, 34 years after John Paul II

At the historic meeting in Casablanca, the Polish Pope spoke of the common faith in the one God and also of human rights, which "have their foundation in God": first of all, freedom of conscience and religion, "protected from external constraints" because freedom characterizes "the dignity of man". A religious freedom, he specified, that needs "reciprocity". And he also emphasized the respect due to every human person, "man or woman"


Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Pope Francis will visit Morocco from March 30 to 31, 2019, visiting the cities of Rabat and Casablanca. The announcement released today by the Holy See Press Office states that Francis was invited by King Mohammed VI and by the bishops.

The visit of Francis will take place almost 34 years after that of John Paul II who on 19 August 1985 was the first Pope in history to give a speech to young Muslims. The meeting took place in the Casablanca stadium, packed with young people, all in white clothes. Like King Hassan II who wanted the Pope's presence and welcomed him warmly (in the picture).

To the young people, who listened with respect and attention, the Polish Pope spoke of the common faith in the one God and also of human rights. "Christians and Muslims - he said -  in general we have badly understood each other, and sometimes, in the past, we have opposed and even exhausted each other in polemics and in wars. I believe that, today, God invites us to change our old practices. We must respect each other, and also we must stimulate each other in good works on the path of God. ".

He also spoke of human rights, which "have their foundation in God": first of all, freedom of conscience and religion, "away from external constraints" because freedom characterizes "the dignity of man". A religious freedom, he specified, that needs "reciprocity".

And he also stressed the respect due to every human person, "man or woman": "each must be recognized for what he is" and must be "respected as such".

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