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

As AIDS Epidemic Matures, Workplaces Adapt

Issue of AIDS in workplace is one of many social issues being discussed at the 20th International Aids Conference in Australia More

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid