WARM WORDS

Pope Calls for Christian-Muslim Unity in Visit to Egypt

In a historic visit to Egypt this weekend, Pope Francis called for Christian-Muslim unity and sought to comfort the country’s Catholic population in the wake of deadly attacks by Islamic militants. Pope Francis’ visit – the first visit to Egypt by a pope in 20 years – came just weeks after dozens of Christians were killed in twin church bombings claimed by the Islamic State. A separate attack on a Coptic church in December claimed another 29 lives, and Pope Francis made a point to visit that church on Friday. On Saturday, he continued to send a message against religious violence with a mass held at an outdoor stadium near Cairo. Speaking to an estimated 15,000 people in attendance, he told Egyptian Catholics to be kind to their fellow countrymen even if they practice Islam, saying “the only fanaticism believers can have is that of charity!” Francis also met with members of the Egyptian clergy before being seen off at the airport by President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi on Saturday.