Bishops from North Africa had an audience with Pope Francis, as part of their so called 'ad limina visit.' The meeting included prelates from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya, all of whom shared the strengths and challenges of the Church in their region.
After praying together, Pope Francis gave them a copy of his written statement, with advice for their dioceses.
He especially thanked the work of the Church in Libya for showing courage, loyalty and perseverance, from both religious and the laity.
The Pope's statement reads, "For several years your region has been experiencing significant changes, which offer hope that aspirations to greater freedom and dignity... But at times these events have led to outbursts of violence.”
Given the reality of these violent outbursts, the Pope called on Bishops to welcome all the faithful.
Afterwards, the Pope thanked each and every Bishop. They added, they always pray for the Pope.
"We pray for you.”
Finally, he stressed the importance of inter-religious dialogue, as a way to build something, where so many have destroyed.