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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 Azerbaijan: A Mass for 500 Catholics, and a message to terrorists

2016-10-03

Pope Francis started the last leg of his trip to the Caucasus at the airport in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. It's a country with continued tensions with neighboring Armenia and where there are only 500 Catholics.

In fact, the first thing the pope did after landing was to celebrate a Mass for them. He explained that God is not like men who try to change things abruptly or by force. God, he said, is a patient father who guides his children toward a more profound and radical change, a change of heart.

POPE FRANCIS
"God treats us in the same way: He does not indulge our desire to immediately and repeatedly change the world and other people. Instead, He intends primarily to heal the heart, my heart, your heart, and the heart of each person; God changes the world by transforming our hearts."

He celebrated Mass in English, since many from this small community are foreign or diplomatic workers.

He then visited the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev. Before him and other authorities of the country, he stressed the importance of dialogue to achieve peaceful coexistence. Azerbaijan, and neighboring Armenia, are at odds over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. A conflict that in April caused more than 30 fatalities.

POPE FRANCIS
"We need to promote a culture of peace, which is fostered by an untiring willingness for dialogue. Also by the awareness that there is no reasonable alternative to patiently and assiduously searching for shared solutions, by means of committed and sustained negotiations."

In front of the Azerbaijan Baku City Shadhidlar Hiyabani Monument to the Fallen Heroes, Pope Francis stayed and prayed for several minutes.

Then he visited the newly opened Heydar Aliyev mosque. He met with the sheikh, Allashukur Pashazadeh, who is a key player in the dialogue between Muslims in the Caucasus, where they are the majority.

From there, he asked for religious freedom and respect: so worldly interests do not end up justifying fundamentalism, imperialism or colonialism.

From the Azerbaijan mosque, the pope once again sent a message to terrorists.

POPE FRANCIS
"From this highly symbolic place, a heartfelt cry rises up once again: no more violence in the name of God! May His most Holy Name be adored, not profaned or bartered as a commodity through forms of hatred and human opposition."

After this meeting, Pope Francis went to the airport to board the plane and end his trip to the Caucasus.

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