News / Europe

    World Religious Leaders Welcome Pope Francis

    Pope Francis greets Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone (r) as he celebrates his inaugural Mass with cardinals, inside the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican, March 14, 2013.
    Pope Francis greets Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone (r) as he celebrates his inaugural Mass with cardinals, inside the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican, March 14, 2013.
    Selah Hennessy
    As Catholics around the world welcome newly elected Pope Francis, proponents of other global faiths are also reacting to the new Vatican leader with congratulations and hope for renewed ties.
     
    The Saudi Arabia-based Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which represents 57 countries, said Thursday it hopes the election of a new pope will signal improved relations between Islam and Christianity.

    In a congratulatory letter, the organization's secretary-general said he hoped cordiality and a "sincere friendship" would be renewed.

    A senior Palestinian official, Saeb Erekat, also congratulated the new pope, extending an invitation from Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority:

    "President Abbas extended an invitation to his holiness to visit the Holy Land - to visit Jerusalem, to visit Bethlehem," said Erekat. "We congratulate the pope, we congratulate the Vatican. And President Abbas is determined to continue exerting every possible effort in order to foster [improved] relations between Palestine and the city of Vatican."

    Al Azhar University in Cairo, the center of Islamic learning, said it hoped for "better relations with the Vatican" under Pope Francis.

    Relations between the Vatican and the Muslim world were strained during the papacy of Benedict XVI, who announced his resignation last month.

    In a speech at Regensburg University in Germany in 2006, Benedict's comments were interpreted as an attack on Islam. He had recounted an anecdote in which the Prophet Muhammad was portrayed as spreading his faith through violence, "by the sword."

    Other faiths have also welcomed the newly elected head of the Roman Catholic Church.

    "The holy pope is a meaningful leader for all of us, not just for the Catholic community," said Israeli President Shimon Peres, who spoke in Jerusalem on Thursday.

    In Moscow, Father Kirill Gorbunov of the Church of the Immaculate Conception said relations between the Russian Orthodox Church, where most faithful Russians are members, would be close with the new pope.

    "I remember the words of one representative of the Russian Orthodox Church toward the new pope [from] Buenos Aires, who remembered that the pope had visited the Orthodox Church, who was assured that this is a man who knows and loves the Orthodox faith. These words show that for this pope the Orthodox Church isn't something foreign," said Gorbunov.

    Pope Francis was chosen on Wednesday as the first Latin American leader of the Catholic Church.

    You May Like

    Video Twists and Turns Aplenty in US Presidential Race

    Even as Americans pause for this week’s Memorial Day holiday, much attention is focused on the presidential contest

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora