‘Few papal trips have been quite so historically significant,’ says Vatican-based reporter

VATICAN CITY, 7th February, 2019 (WAM) – Reflecting on this week’s visit to Abu Dhabi by His Holiness Pope Francis, Head of the Catholic Church, Edward Pentin, Vatican correspondent for the influential National Catholic Register, believes that “few papal trips have been quite so historically significant, momentous and widely welcomed.”

“From the first-ever papal Mass in the Arab Peninsula, the cradle of Islam, to the signing of a Muslim-Catholic declaration underlining brotherhood and condemning all violence in the name of religion, the historic 3rd-5th February apostolic voyage would have been unthinkable just over a decade ago,” Pentin commented in an article published today.

Pentin, who was amongst the media team from the Vatican who accompanied the Pope on his visit, said that, “For Pope Francis, ‘fraternity’ was the keyword. The trip, he said, marked a ‘new page’ in the history of dialogue between Christianity and Islam and was meant as a pushback against what Francis called a ‘strong temptation to see a clash between Christian and Islamic civilisations’.”

“The Pope and the Vatican principally wanted the visit to be one of peace, reconciliation and dialogue in a country the Holy Father described as a ‘crossroads between East and West’, a multi-ethnic and multi-religious ‘oasis,’ and therefore a place well suited to promoting the culture of encounter,” he concluded.


WAM/Rasha Abubaker


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