Before Pope Francis was able to speak on his visit to Bahrain in his General Audience, he was approached by two young children, from which he drew a lesson to share with the crowd.
They did not ask permission, they did not say “I'm afraid.” They came here directly. That is how we should be with God.
The Pope then spoke about his trip to Bahrain, which he said was motivated by three reasons: dialogue, encounter and progress.
He said that the only way to overcome conflicts, wherever in the world they may be, is through these tenets.
I think of the crazy wars, insane, which the martyred Ukraine is a victim of, and of so many other conflicts that will never be resolved with the childish logic of weapons, but only with the meek force of dialogue.
He then explained the significance of his trip, and meeting with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar. A gesture which he said does not detract from the Christian Faith, but builds peace.
The first visit of a pope to Bahrain has represented a new step on the path between Christian and Muslims, not to confuse ourselves or water down the faith, no, dialogue doesn't water down, but to build fraternal alliances in the name of the father Abraham.
Why do I say that dialogue doesn't water down? Because to dialogue, you must have your own identity, you must start from your own identity. If you don't have an identity you cannot dialogue, because you will be something that not even you understand.
In his final greetings, Pope Francis also recalled the late Orthodox Archbishop of Cyprus, Chrysostomos II, who passed away days prior. The two met during the Pope's visit to Cyprus in December 2021, and Pope Francis described him as a promoter of peace among the different groups in the country.