The pontiff's trip to Bahrain and two inter-religious forums have re-energised discussion between different faiths and within Islam. Peace and reconciliation between the two souls of the Muslim world are necessary for stability. Even the Imam of al-Azhar makes a rare appeal for internal dialogue. Analysis and future prospects in an interview with professor and expert Saad Salloum.
For the first time in years, the family of Shia activist Mohammed Ramadhan was allowed physical contact with him during a visit. Sentenced to death based on a confession allegedly extracted through torture, his case was among those raised during the pontiff's trip. His wife remains concerned about his health.
At the general audience Francis reviews his recent trip, answering the question: why visit a country with a very large Islamic majority? "Dialogue is the oxygen of peace. The Christians of the Gulf invite us to broaden our horizons and dedicate ourselves to getting to know others". Commemoration of the Orthodox Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomos, "a far-sighted pastor".
A Sister’s testimony introduced the meeting with Pope Francis in Manama. “We involve ourselves in prison ministry,” and “visit hospitals, the sick and needy families,” she said. In a world “changing by leaps and bounds”, the nuns educate “young minds” from migrant families to follow Jesus.
Back from Bahrain, the pontiff appealed to Lebanese leaders. The Maronite patriarch hopes that the pope will be heard. The apostolic journey to Lebanon was cancelled and never rescheduled. The pope remains close to the country and its people, praying for them.
The mass celebrated at the stadium "the most moving moment". The visible "enthusiasm" of tens of thousands of faithful. The 'dedication' of the local community in preparing for the visit. The pontiff's physical suffering, his "fragility" touched the hearts of Muslims too.