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Pope Francis

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.

Pope in Sri Lanka: Check out his six best quotes!

2015-01-15

Sri Lanka welcomed Pope Francis with dances, music, flowers and...elephants! He was there from January 12 to 15.

The trip's main theme was reconciliation and the key role religion plays in building peace.

For more than 25 years, this island suffered a civil war. The two main protagonists were the  Buddhist Government on one side and and Hindu rebels, on the other. 

POPE FRANCIS
"It is no easy task to overcome the bitter legacy of injustices, hostility and mistrust left by the conflict. It can only be done by overcoming evil with good.”

Pope Francis also stood for the right of every citizen to "have voice” in the reconciliation process.  

POPE FRANCIS
"Whenever people listen to one another humbly and openly, their shared values and aspirations become all the more apparent. Diversity is no longer seen as a threat, but as a source of enrichment.”

Roughly 70% of Sri Lanka's population is Buddhist. Christians, represent about seven percent.  Pope Francis highlighted that all religions must work together to build peace, without rejecting their identity.

POPE FRANCIS
"It is my hope that inter-religious and ecumenical cooperation will demonstrate that men and women do not have to forsake their identity, whether ethnic or religious, in order to live in harmony with their brothers and sisters. If we are honest in presenting our convictions, we will be able to see more clearly what we hold in common.” 

Throughout his three day visit, the Pope highlighted that religion should not be used to justify violence. Rather, just the opposite.  

POPE FRANCIS
"For the sake of peace, religious beliefs must never be allowed to be abused in the cause of violence and war.”

The visit's most anticipated moment was the canonization ceremony of Joseph Vaz, who became Sri Lanka's first Saint. He lived at a time when Catholics were actively persecuted in Sri Lanka. 

POPE FRANCIS
"Religious freedom is a fundamental human right.”

He spoke of reconciliation once more at the Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu. He talked about the  thousands of people who took refuge at that Shrine during Sri Lanka's civil war. He said repentance, leads to forgiveness and ultimately reconciliation. 

POPE FRANCIS
"Yet only when we come to understand, in the light of the Cross, the evil we are capable of, and have even been a part of, can we experience true remorse and true repentance.”

This visit marks the fourth time a Pope visits the country. Paul VI went there in 1970. After him, John Paul II traveled twice to the island, in 1981 and  then again in 1995.


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