Pope in meeting with Grand Ayatollah Sistani stressed importance of friendship, mutual respect, dialogue btw religious communities

Pope in meeting with Grand Ayatollah Sistani stressed importance of friendship, mutual respect, dialogue btw religious communities

Pope Francis met this Saturday morning in Najaf with Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Al-Husayni Al-Sistani in a visit which stressed the importance of friendship, mutual respect and dialogue between religious communities.

AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): Grand Shiite cleric, Ayatollah Sistani, issued a statement after his encounter in Najaf with the pope March 6, saying that world religious leaders should work to hold “great powers” to account, calling upon them “to give priority to reason and wisdom, to reject the language of war, and not to expand concern for their self-interests over the rights of people to live in freedom and dignity.”

Pope Francis met this Saturday morning in Najaf with Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Al-Husayni Al-Sistani in a visit which stressed the importance of friendship, mutual respect and dialogue between religious communities.

According to a statement from the Holy See Press Office, during the courtesy visit, which lasted about forty-five minutes,  “the Holy Father stressed the importance of cooperation and friendship between religious communities for contributing – through the cultivation of mutual respect and dialogue – to the good of Iraq, the region and the entire human family.”

The communique also says, “The meeting was an occasion for the Pope to thank Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani for speaking up – together with the Shiite community – in defence of those most vulnerable and persecuted amid the violence and great hardships of recent years, and for affirming the sacredness of human life and the importance of the unity of the Iraqi people.”

In taking leave of the Grand Ayatollah, the Holy Father stated that he continues to pray that God, the Creator of all, will grant a future of peace and fraternity for the beloved land of Iraq, for the Middle East and for the whole world.




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