Pope Francis slams ‘childlike’ whims of powerful that start wars


MANAMA, Bahrain –

With Russia’s warfare in Ukraine raging, Pope Francis joined Muslim, Christian and Jewish leaders Friday in calling for the world’s nice religions work collectively for peace, telling an interfaith summit that faith mustn’t ever be used to justify violence and that religion leaders should counter the “childlike” whims of the powerful to make warfare.

On his second day within the Gulf kingdom of Bahrain, Francis closed out a convention on East-West dialogue sponsored by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. It was his second such convention in as many months, following one in Kazakhstan, proof of Francis’ core perception that moments of encounter amongst individuals of totally different faiths may also help heal at present’s conflicts and promote a extra simply and sustainable world.

Sitting round him within the Sakhir royal palace grounds have been main Muslim imams, the non secular chief of the world’s Orthodox Christians, and U.S. rabbis who’ve lengthy engaged in interfaith dialogue, in addition to the king. Speaker after speaker known as for an finish to Russia’s warfare in Ukraine and the start of peace negotiations. The Russian Orthodox Church, which despatched an envoy to the convention, has strongly supported the Kremlin in its warfare and justified it on spiritual grounds.

Francis informed the gathering that, whereas the world appears to be heading aside like two opposing seas, the mere presence of spiritual leaders collectively was proof that they “intend to set sail on the identical waters, selecting the route of encounter somewhat than that of confrontation.”

“It is a putting paradox that, whereas the bulk of the world’s inhabitants is united in dealing with the identical difficulties, affected by grave meals, ecological and pandemic crises, in addition to an progressively scandalous world injustice, a number of potentates are caught up in a resolute battle for partisan pursuits,” he mentioned.

“We seem like witnessing a dramatic and childlike state of affairs: within the backyard of humanity, as an alternative of cultivating our environment, we’re enjoying as an alternative with hearth, missiles and bombs, weapons that deliver sorrow and dying, protecting our widespread house with ashes and hatred,” he mentioned.

King Hamad, for his half, urged a coherent effort to cease Russia’s warfare in Ukraine and promote peace negotiations, “for the nice of all of humanity.”

The go to is Francis’ second to a Gulf Arab nation, following his 2019 landmark journey to Abu Dhabi, the place he signed a doc selling Catholic-Muslim fraternity with a number one Sunni cleric, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb. Al-Tayeb is the grand imam of Al-Azhar, the seat of Sunni studying in Cairo, and has turn into Francis’ key companion in selling better Christian-Muslim understanding.

Al-Tayeb joined Francis in Bahrain and was available final month in Kazakhstan too. In his ready remarks, known as Friday for an finish to Russia’s warfare “to spare the lives of innocents who haven’t any hand on this violent tragedy.”

Al-Tayeb additionally known as for Sunni and Shiite Muslims to interact in an analogous course of of dialogue and attempt to heal their centuries of divisions, saying Al-Azhar was ready to host such an encounter.

“Let us collectively push back any discuss of hate, provocation and excommunication and put aside historic and fashionable battle in all its varieties and with all its unfavorable offshoots,” he mentioned. Bahrain is dominated by a Sunni monarchy that has been accused by human rights teams of systematic discrimination towards its Shiite majority, costs the federal government rejects.

Later Friday, al-Tayeb was to satisfy privately with Francis and take part in a bigger encounter on the mosque within the royal palace with the Muslim Council of Elders, which he heads.

Francis was additionally bringing his message of dialogue to Bahrain’s Christian leaders by presiding over an ecumenical assembly and peace prayer on the Our Lady of Arabia Cathedral, the most important Catholic Church within the Gulf, which was inaugurated final yr on land gifted to the church by Al Khalifa.

Francis opened his go to to Bahrain on Thursday by urging Bahrain authorities resign the dying penalty and guarantee fundamental human rights are assured for all residents — a nod to Bahraini Shiite dissidents who say they’ve been harassed and detained, topic to torture and “sham trials,” with some sentenced to dying for his or her political actions. The authorities denies discriminating towards Shiites.

Francis additionally aimed to focus on Bahrain’ custom of spiritual tolerance: Unlike neighboring Saudi Arabia, the place Christians can not brazenly observe their religion, Bahrain is house to a number of Christian communities in addition to a small Jewish group.

In his ready remarks to the discussion board, U.S. Rabbi Marc Schneier, who has lengthy labored to advertise Jewish-Muslim understanding and serves as Al Khalifa’s particular advisor on interfaith issues, praised Bahrain as a “position model within the Arab world for coexistence and tolerance of totally different religion communities.”


Associated Press faith protection receives help by the AP’s collaboration with The Conversation US, with funding from Lilly Endowment Inc. The AP is solely liable for this content material


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