23 April 2017
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  • » 03/20/2017, 14.55

    EGYPT - VATICAN

    Work begins on program for Pope Francis visit to Egypt



    Over the weekend a Vatican delegation meets with the Egyptian president. Al Sisi’s "great esteem" for Pope Francis. The visit to the President, the Coptic Patriarch, the Grand Imam of Al Azhar. An ecumenical meeting and prayer for the martyrs next to St. Mark's Cathedral, where three months ago a bomb attack took place. Meetings with Catholics. The press broke the news, but without comment. The silence of the Salafis.

     

    Cairo (AsiaNews) - A Vatican delegation will meet with a delegation of the president Abdelfattah Al Sisi this weekend to finalize the program of the visit of Pope Francis. The visit, which was announced two days ago, will take place on 28 and 29 April.

    In honor and to ensure maximum safety, all the technical preparation has been entrusted to staff of the Egyptian president. Two days ago, in the official announcement of the visit, a statement which says that "Egypt warmly welcomes its valued guest and that looks forward to this visit as a message of peace, tolerance and dialogue between different religions of all mankind". President Al Sisi, who visited the pope at the Vatican in 2014, "has a great esteem for Pope Francis and admired his moral and spiritual stature, as well as his courageous positions on some international issues."

    From the information received from Fr. Rafic Greiche, spokesman for the Egyptian Catholic Church, the program will be very intense and is taking place in a period, after Easter, in which there are many meetings, prayers, feasts. This year the Orthodox and Catholic Easter fall on the same day.

    The first day, April 28, he will first visit President Al Sisi, then the Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II and then the grand imam of Al Azhar Ahmed El-Tayyeb. It is very likely that in this last visit, the pontiff will also meet with university professors, Koranic doctors and other personalities of the Council of the Muslim scholars.

    Later the Pope, along with Tawadros, will preside an ecumenical prayer for the martyrs. The desire of Christians is to keep this moment in the seat of the Coptic patriarchate, near the cathedral of St. Mark and St. Peter's Church, where last December 11 25 worshipers were killed in an attack along with 50 wounded. But for the security apparatus has not yet given permission.

    The next day, April 29, will be entirely dedicated to meetings with Catholics. The papal rallies are planned together with the bishops, priests and religious as well as laity.

    For now, the Arab newspapers have given all the news of the visit of Pope Francis, but without comment, even by Salafis newspapers, generally critical of President Al Sisi and towards other religions.

     

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    See also

    18/03/2017 13:21:00 EGYPT - VATICAN
    Egyptian Church "happy": the Pope will be in Egypt on April 28 and 29

    The official news from the Vatican press office. The pressing invitation of President Al Sisi, the Coptic Patriarch Tawadros II, the Grand Imam of Al Azhar mosque. Fr. Rafic Greiche: He comes to comfort the Christians of the East and support them in living together with Muslims. But also to honor Christian martyrs.



    10/04/2017 12:45:00 VATICAN-ISLAM-EGYPT
    Even the West contributes to the massacre of Christians and of hope in the Middle East

    The cliché of the conflict of civilizations and religious wars. Daesh targets Christians, but also coexistence between Christians and Muslims. Al Sisi’s struggle for full citizenship of Christians in Egypt. Al Azhar and condemnation of fundamentalism. The West sells weapons to the Middle East, which end up in the hands of the Islamic State. Benedict XVI’s Regensburg address needs to be reconsidered.

     



    06/04/2017 11:13:00 EGYPT-ISLAM
    Al Azhar and the rights of Christians in the Islamic world

    A few weeks ahead of Pope Francis’ visit to Egypt, the most influential Sunni university has defended equal rights for Christians and Muslims. But in the Arab-Islamic world, religious minorities suffer. All Constitutions impose restrictions: prohibition of community gatherings; to change one's religion; to assume high government office. Marginalization is leading to the flight of Christians from the Middle East.

     



    23/05/2016 12:47:00 VATICAN - ISLAM
    Meeting between Pope Francis and the Imam of Al Azhar "for dialogue and peace in the world"

    Egyptian Catholic Church spokesman: "Happy for this meeting." Vicar of Al Azhar: "A message of tolerance." The highs and lows of the Al Azhar-Vatican relationship. The breakthrough with Al Sisi and his project to modernize Egypt and the teaching of Islam.

     



    27/01/2017 13:35:00 VATICAN
    Pope: the martyrs "of all ecclesial traditions" call Christians to full unity

    Receiving members of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches, among other things Francis says that extremism and fundamentalism are fertile ground in situations where there is "poverty, inequality, and social exclusion", and "vested interests, which are often external".

     





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