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Complete program of pope's trip to Fatima on May 12-13

March 20, 2017. The Vatican has published Pope Francis' program for his upcoming trip to Fatima.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis will travel to Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017

March 18, 2017. In response to the invitation from the President of the Republic, the Bishops of the Catholic Church, His Holiness Pope Tawadros II and the Grand Imam of the Mosque of Al Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayyib, Pope Francis will make an Apostolic trip to the Arab Republic of Egypt from 28 to 29 April 2017, visiting the city of Cairo. The programme of the trip will be published shortly.
Pope Francis

Pope to meet with most powerful European leaders on March 24

March 3, 2017. On March 24 a historic meeting will take place between the pope and many of the most powerful heads of government throughout Europe. The meeting was announced by the Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Greg Burke and will begin at 6 p.m. in the Sala Regia of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican.

Former Nuncio in Egypt: A look at the Arab Spring from the inside

2013-05-20

ARCH. MICHAEL LOUIS FITZGERALD
Former Papal Nuncio in Egypt

"Something has happened, I think there is a greater freedom of expression for everybody really.”

Despite the progress, there are still a lot of challenges. The Archbishop, who served as the  papal nuncio in Egypt from 2006 to 2012, talked about this during a presentation at the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies.

ARCH. MICHAEL LOUIS FITZGERALD
Former Papal Nuncio in Egypt

"There has been violence. There have been attacks on churches, on people. They don't feel they are sufficiently defended by the present government.”

While attacks on Christians and churches are a reality, the Archbishop says it can't really be described as a religious war. He says it's not Egypt's government or even people of power who are directly behind the attacks, but rather Islamic extremists.
 
This he says, has been a step backwards for religious freedom, Christians and also economic stability of Egypt.

ARCH. MICHAEL LOUIS FITZGERALD
Former Papal Nuncio in Egypt
 
"Because the country needs foreign investment. It needs tourists to come because the tourists trade is a big element in its revenue.”

Christians are a minority in Egypt. About 90 percent of the population is Muslim. By law, blasphemy against Islam can be punishable by imprisonment or in extreme cases death.

ARCH. MICHAEL LOUIS FITZGERALD
Former Papal Nuncio in Egypt

"It needs also courage, on the part of both Christians and Muslims to keep alive the values of the Arab Spring.”

With elections this year, Arch. Fitzgerald says he hopes the country can reflect the desire for change, that triggered the Arab Spring in the first place.


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