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Pope recalls how his trip to Georgia and Azerbaijan reinforced his belief in dialogue

2016-10-05

During the General Audience, Pope Francis spoke about his impressions after his trip to Georgia and Azerbaijan. He thanked the religious and civil authorities that welcomed him, and he said that this trip helped reinforce his certainty on the importance of inter-religious dialogue.

POPE FRANCIS
"Our faith in Christ does not hinder dialogue, rather, it should encourage us to come together with everyone who believes in God, in order to build a fairer and more peaceful world.”

From his visit to Georgia, he highlighted his meeting with Patriarch Ilia II, which moved him deeply. He added that the gesture of welcoming the pope at the airport is a sign of good will from the Georgian Orthodox Church, and a good omen for the their future collaboration.

POPE FRANCIS
"The Catholic Church is called to be close to them, especially through works of charity and promoting the good of the human person, in communion with the other Churches and Christian communities, and in dialogue with other religious communities. That is why Patriarch Ilia’s and the President of the Republic's presence at the airport upon my arrival was a very important sign.”

The pope also fondly recalled the Mass with the Assyrian-Chaldean community, celebrated on the feast day of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, which was not coincidental.

POPE FRANCIS
"She reminds us that the true mission is not proselytism, but unity with Christ in prayer, in adoration, and in concrete acts of charity.”

This is what he saw in the religious men and women during his one-day visit to Azerbaijan, an overwhelmingly Muslim country, a circumstance that does not prevent their communities in being a part of society and having a good relationship with everyone. 


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