Pope Francis welcomed an inter-religious group from Argentina made up of 15 Jews, 15 Muslims and 15 Christians. They were on their way back from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.
The Pope greeted each person, some of whom he already knew from time as archbishop of Buenos Aires.
With such a familiar environment, the Pope improvised a speech focused on brotherhood. He cited Argentina as a good example, since immigration forced groups to coexist.
"The majority of us know how to coexist, it's easier for us, and that's a clear message. It's a message that we have the same Father, up in Heaven, and the same Father down on earth, we adore him.”
For the Pope, the pilgrimage his fellow Argentinians underwent is a good example of how to reach out to others and "build bridges.”
"What you have done, visiting these towns, the synagogues, mosques and Christian churches, is an act of brotherhood and a seed. A seed to build that culture of encounter that we all have to carry forward.”
The group, which visited Jordan, Palestine and Israel, included several rabbis, imams and priests. The Pope thanked them for the visit, and after his remarks, they exchanged gifts.