Emptied Out of Egypt
Convivium, 27 April 2017
Convivium Editor in Chief Father Raymond J. de Souza reflects on the significance of Pope Francis and Bartholomew, Patriarch of Constantinople, addressing a peace conference hosted by the Al-Azhar mosque in Egypt tomorrow.
On Friday, Pope Francis and Bartholomew, Patriarch of Constantinople, will be together in Cairo to address a peace conference hosted by the Al-Azhar mosque and university, sometimes called the “Vatican” of the Sunni Muslim world. For the leadership of global Christianity – pope and patriarch – to meet is no longer remarkable, as it was in 1964 when Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras met in Jerusalem after nine centuries of estrangement.
Yet that they are meeting in Cairo, at the invitation of the premier theological centre of the Islamic world, is of supreme importance. If the Christian tradition can be offered to Muslim scholars working on questions of violence and coercion in the face of an aggressive jihadism, it is hard to think of a more opportune time and place. These days need our attention and our prayers.
My eye was caught though by the image being used for the papal visit, employing the motto “The Pope of Peace in Egypt of Peace.”
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