With singing in the background, Pope Francis welcomed Catholic and non-Catholic leaders in the Vatican. It's part of an ecumenical meeting of the Focolare Movement titled 'The Eucharist: Mystery of Communion.'
The Pope asked them to work together to overcome a culture of indifference and religious intolerance. Many of those taking part, are from different Middle Eastern Churches.
"In many countries one doesn't have the right to express one's faith publicly, or even to live out their religious beliefs according to Christian teachings. There's also the persecution of Christians and other minorities.”
More than 40 bishops from 24 countries took part in the meeting, which included representatives from the Syrian Orthodox Church and the Armenian Orthodox Church.
One of the speakers asked the Pope to condemn the kidnapping of their fellow Bishops in the Middle East, in his coming trip to Turkey.
The Pope also talked about the need to work together amid so much global instability.
"We sadly see presence of terrorism, the plight of refugees caused by war and other reasons; the challenges of fundamentalism and on the other extreme, exaggerated secularism; all these really challenge our conscience of Christians and pastors.”
The four day meeting started on November 3rd and it marked the 33rd Ecumenical Meeting of Bishops and Friends of the Focolare Movement.