Pope Francis meets with the KAICIID delegation Pope Francis meets with the KAICIID delegation  (Vatican Media)

Pope Francis holds series of interreligious encounters in Lisbon

Pope Francis engages in a series of interreligious and ecumenical encounters in Lisbon, and calls on everyone to promote fraternity and care for the spiritual well-being of young people.

By Devin Watkins

As Pope Francis returned to the Apostolic Nunciature ahead of lunch on Friday, he held a series of brief meetings with three separate delegations, according to the Holy See Press Office.

The Pope met first with a delegation from the International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID), accompanied by Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, prefect of the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue.

“In greeting the delegation,” said the Press Office statement, “the Pope expressed his gratitude for the visit and addressed a few words to those present on the value of fraternity and dialogue and the danger of monologue and proselytizing.”

The King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue—or KAICIID, for short—is based in Lisbon.

It was opened in 2012 by Saudi Arabia, Austria, and Spain, following Pope Benedict XVI’s meeting in 2007 with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah. The KAICIID’s website says the Holy See is a “Founding Observer to the Centre.”

Pope Francis then held a private audience with Rahim Aga Khan, son of the leader of the Ismaili community, which has its center in Lisbon.

Pope Francis shakes hands with Prince Rahim Aga Khan
Pope Francis shakes hands with Prince Rahim Aga Khan

Ecumenism and care for young people

In a separate meeting, the Pope received a group of religious men and women and people of different faiths and Christian denominations involved in the ecumenical and interreligious efforts of the Church in Portugal.

Pope Francis thanked those present for their efforts to live in fraternity and engage in dialogue.

He also urged them “to take care of young people, who ‘are cheerful, but not superficial,’ and risk being ‘anesthetized’ by the world around them.

In his final meeting before having lunch with young people, Pope Francis met briefly with Henrique Cymerman Benarroch, an Israeli journalist who works as a correspondent in the Middle East.

Pope Francis meets with an ecumenical delegation
Pope Francis meets with an ecumenical delegation

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04 August 2023, 13:33