05/04/2017 - Pope Francis meets with Imams fron the UK.

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05/04/2017 - Pope Francis meets with Imams fron the UK.

Postby Alice » Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:34 pm

Wednesday 5 April 2017

Imams say meeting the pope is “one of the most powerful messages for Muslim world”

With a ever-complex Muslim situation in the UK in the wake of Brexit and the recent terrorist attacks, four Muslim Imams have accompanied UK Card. Nichols to the Vatican to meet with Pope Francis.

SHAYKH IBRAHIM MOGRA
Co-Chair Christian Muslim Forum
"I think it's going to be one of the most powerful messages that will go out to the Muslim world that the Christian communities of the world are our friends. Here they are welcoming us into the holiest of places to meet the greatest leader that they have within their tradition, and being hospitable, and showing true Christian hospitality and good neighborliness. And I think the Muslim world ought to reciprocate that.”

MOULANA MUHAMMAD SHAHID RAZA
Chairman, British Muslim Forum
"We will be thanking him [Pope Francis] for his great support that has always been received by the Muslim community, along with all other communities, having faith or having no faith.”

The acceptance of others by Pope Francis is also practiced by Card. Nichols. He said there is a pathway to be walked toward tolerance of religions in the UK and right now, Catholics want to share their story with the Muslim world.

Cardinal Nichols explained that in the UK, Catholicism was originally a banned faith, then persecuted against, reluctantly given space, and now finally is an accepted faith and a major contributor to society.

CARD. VINCENT NICHOLS
Archbishop of Westminster
"I think at this time that Christian-Muslim dialogue is particularly important and in a strange way, Catholic-Muslim dialogue in Britain is very important, because the history of the Catholic community in Britain is one of being a minority and of having lived with 400 years of anti-Catholic prejudice.”

The goal of the visit is to engage in inter-religious dialogue with the Muslim community, allowing both religions to not only speak, but be heard by the neighboring party, both on the part of the Imams, and Pope Francis and Card. Nichols.

MOULANA MUHAMMAD SHAHID RAZA
Chairman, British Muslim Forum
"Similarly, the cardinal who is with us, his hospitality and generosity and his wisdom has made it possible that [tomorrow] the Muslim community of the United Kingdom is going to make history.”

History has been made at the Vatican and there are many more opportunities for this to continue as the pope has trips to Egypt and Bangladesh planned this year, to carry on this dialogue with the Muslim community at large.




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Pope with British Imams: the most important thing is the capacity to listen

As an outward sign of inter-religious dialogue with the Muslim world, Pope Francis held a private audience with Card. Vincent Nichols and four Imams from England.

First, Card. Nichols greeted the pope, thanking him for receiving the audience and for supporting the UK especially after the attack on Westminster Bridge.

CARD. VINCENT NICHOLS
Archbishop of Westminster
"We want also to ask for your prayers. And I personally would like to thank you very much for the message that you sent for us.”

Pope Francis then said the most important action both parties could take right now is to listen to the other.

POPE FRANCIS
"What we should do to make the human nature better, it's the work of the ear, the work of listening. To listen to one another amongst us. To listen to one another without making any haste to give a response. To listen to the voice of a brother or a sister and think about it before we give a response. But the most important thing is the capacity to listen.”

Afterwards, the pope greeted the four imams and delivered them each a medallion as a sign of peace.

MOULANA MUHAMMAD SHAHID RAZA
Chairman, British Muslim Forum
"Today we are making history. We bring you on behalf, the message of peace and understanding and cooperation. Thank you very much. May God bless you.”

After the traditional photo, Pope Francis said goodbye to them all before leaving.

POPE FRANCIS
"Thank you. God bless you.”



Both reports and videos with very kind permission from Rome Reports TV News Agency
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