His Holiness Pope Francis, the Head of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of the Vatican City, met with senior government leaders on the first full day of his papal visit to the UAE before attending the Global Conference of Human Fraternity Meeting.
It is being seen as a milestone for interfaith relations in the UAE and the rest of the Middle East. Pope Francis has made boosting ties between Christianity and Islam a cornerstone of his papacy and the UAE government has declared 2019 as the year of tolerance.
His Holiness began the day meeting His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan,Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid AlMaktoum, Vice President of the United Arab Emirates after a welcome ceremony at The Presidential Palace. The papal visit resulted from an official invitation from His Highness who visited the Vatican in 2016.
His visit is being seen as a milestone for interfaith relations in the UAE and the rest of the Middle East. Pope Francis has made boosting ties between Christianity and Islam a cornerstone of his papacy and the UAE government has declared 2019 as the year of tolerance.
Pope Francis and His Eminence the Grand Imam of al-Azhar, Dr. Ahmed At-Tayyeb visited the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque where they attended the Muslim Council of Elders.
The two men then attended the Global Conference of Human Fraternity and gave speeches before signing a document of Human Fraternity.
Pope Francis’ also conducted a huge open air mass at Zayed Sports City, an event attracted over 150,000 people and was live streamed across the globe.
His Holiness greeted the excited crowds both inside and outside the Zayed Stadium, where he conducted the 90-minute Mass.
A diverse gathering, the event bought together nationalities from around the world, and parts of the 90-minute service conducted in
Italian, English, Arabic, Tagalog, Hindi and Korean.