POPE FRANCIS SENDS VIDEO GREETINGS AHEAD OF UAE VISIT

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POPE FRANCIS SENDS VIDEO GREETINGS AHEAD OF UAE VISIT

In a video message sent on Thursday, Pope Francis greets the people of the United Arab Emirates, and looks forward to marking a new step in the history of inter-religious relations.
By Devin Watkins (vaticannews)

Pope Francis travels to Abu Dhabi from February 3 to 5 to participate in an inter-religious meeting and to celebrate Mass.

In his video message, the Pope said he is looking forward to visiting the UAE, calling it “a land that seeks to be a model of coexistence, human brotherhood, and encounter between different civilizations and cultures”.

In the UAE, the Holy Father said, many people “find a safe place to work and live freely, while respecting diversity.”

Gratitude for invitation
Pope Francis thanked the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, for inviting him to participate in an interreligious meeting on “Human Brotherhood”.

He then expressed his gratitude to other UAE Authorities for their “generous hospitality and fraternal welcome”.

“I thank my friend and dear brother the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, and all those who aided in the preparation of the meeting, for their courage and desire to affirm that faith in God unites and does not divide,” he said.

Faith brings people closer
Pope Francis said faith in God brings people closer despite their differences, and “distances us from hostility and aversion.”

The Pope said he looks forward to writing “a new page in the history of relations between religions, confirming that we are brothers and sisters, even though we are different.”

Finally, Pope Francis called the UAE “a land of prosperity and peace, a land of sun and harmony, a land of coexistence and encounter”. And he invited the people of the United Arab Emirates to pray for him.

To listen to video as Pope speaks in Italian, with several words in Arabic: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2019-01/pope-francis-uae-videomessage-before-visit.html#play

POPE FRANCIS SENDS VIDEO MESSAGE TO U.S. BISHOPS

POPE FRANCIS SENDS VIDEO MESSAGE TO U.S. BISHOPS

Video Message of His Holiness Pope Francis To the General Assembly of the USCCB 14-17 November 2016

Dear Brother Bishops,

I am pleased to have this opportunity to speak to you.  Just a year ago, I was with you during my Pastoral Visit to the United States.  There I was impressed by the vitality and diversity of the Catholic community.  Throughout its history, the Church in your country has welcomed and integrated new waves of immigrants.  In the rich variety of their languages and cultural traditions, they have shaped the changing face of the American Church.

In this context, I would commend the coming Fifth National Hispanic Pastoral Encuentro.  The celebration of this Fifth Encuentro will begin in your Dioceses in this coming January and conclude with a national celebration in September 2018.

In continuity with its predecessors, the Encuentro seeks to acknowledge and value the specific gifts that Hispanic Catholics have offered, and continue to offer, to the Church in your country.  But it is more than that.  It is part of a greater process of renewal and missionary outreach, one to which all of your local Churches are called.

Our great challenge is to create a culture of encounter, which encourages individuals and groups to share the richness of their traditions and experiences, to break down walls and to build bridges.  The Church in America, as elsewhere, is called to “go out” from its comfort zone and to be a leaven of communion.  Communion among ourselves, with our fellow Christians, and with all who seek a future of hope.

We need to become ever more fully a community of missionary disciples, filled with love of the Lord Jesus and enthusiasm for the spread of the Gospel.  The Christian community is meant to be a sign and prophecy of God’s plan for the entire human family.  We are called to be bearers of good news for a society gripped by disconcerting social, cultural and spiritual shifts, and increasing polarization.

It is my hope that the Church in your country, at every level, will accompany the Encuentro with its own reflection and pastoral discernment. In a particular way, I ask you to consider how your local Churches can best respond to the growing presence, gifts and potential of the Hispanic community.  Mindful of the contribution that the Hispanic community makes to the life of the nation, I pray that the Encuentro will bear fruit for the renewal of American society and for the Church’s apostolate in the United States.

With gratitude to all engaged in the preparation of the Fifth Encuentro, I assure you of my prayers for this important initiative of your Conference.  Commending you, and the clergy, religious and lay faithful of your local Churches, to the prayers of Mary Immaculate, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of grace and peace in the Lord.

For Spanish text, click here: http://www.news.va/es/news/video-mensaje-del-papa-a-la-asamblea-general-de-la