Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 23 May 2019

Pope Francis prays UAE trip will 'bring fruits of peace'

Reflecting on his visit to Abu Dhabi, the Pope tweeted that the trip belongs to the surprises of God

Pope Francis arrives to celebrate Mass at Zayed Sport City in Abu Dhabi. Getty
Pope Francis arrives to celebrate Mass at Zayed Sport City in Abu Dhabi. Getty

Pope Francis has reflected on his visit to the UAE, saying he hopes the trip will lead to peace.

The day after the pontiff left Abu Dhabi, he took to Twitter so say the visit "belongs to the "surprises" of God" — an expression of how rare the trip was.

Pope Francis was the first leader of the Catholic Church to visit the Arabian Gulf. During the visit he met with the Muslim Council of Elders, signed a landmark document for interfaith relations and gave a historic Mass at Zayed Sports City.

On Tuesday, he called on the faithful to "pray that the seeds sown may bring forth fruits of peace".

During the three-day visit, Pope Francis and Dr Ahmed Al Tayed, the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, signed a human fraternity document, which seeks to promote shared values, tolerance and good interfaith relations in the search of peace.

During the signing ceremony, the Pope put solving conflicts in the Middle East at the heart his comments in Abu Dhabi, rejecting all wars in the name of faith.

Arguing we must reject any positive connotation of the word "war", Pope Francis reflected on prominent conflicts in the region.

"Let us return it to its miserable crudeness. Its fateful consequences are before our eyes. I am thinking in particular of Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Libya," he said.

While on an Etihad flight back to Rome on Tuesday, Pope Francis said the UAE was a diverse and forward-looking country.

“It’s modern and welcoming of so many people,” he said on the flight, that becomes 'Shepherd One' when the Pope is on board.

“They educate their children by looking forward," he said of the Emirates. "They’re always looking for new things. I even heard someone say: ‘One day we’ll cease to have oil, we’re readying ourselves for that day.’”

_____________

Pictures: How the world reacted to the papal visit

Updated: February 6, 2019 04:53 PM

SHARE

SHARE