Pope Francis to Palestinian clergy: Respect is first precondition for dialogue
Pope Francis met with a Palestinian delegation in the Paul VI Audience Hall.
“They came to the Vatican with the intention of establishing a joint working group.”
Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran hosted this encounter organized by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, which he directs.
The delegation held a meeting with this dicastery in hopes of establishing a permanent working group to promote interreligious dialogue in Palestine.
The pope highlighted the value of dialogue and its importance for the Catholic Church, especially in the birthplace of Christianity.
“The Holy Land is for us Christians the land par excellence of dialogue between God and mankind. The culmination of that dialogue took place in Nazareth between the Angel Gabriel and the Virgin Mary, an event to which the Quran also makes reference.”
Pope Francis also spoke about the necessary conditions for true dialogue.
“The primary condition of that dialogue is reciprocal respect and a commitment to strengthening that respect, for the sake of recognizing the rights of all people, wherever they happen to be.”
In addition, the pope hopes this new interreligious dialogue group can encourage the whole Palestinian society, especially Christians.
“It is my hope that your consultations may help to open a space of sincere dialogue for the benefit of all the members of Palestinian society, and the Christian community in particular, given its small numbers and the challenges it faces, especially with regard to emigration.”
To conclude, Pope Francis thanked the president of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, for his attention to Christian communities and wished peace upon Palestine and the whole Middle East.