The Vatican

Pope Francis: "Dialogue is the oxygen of peace".

Pope Francis' audience on Wednesday focused on his recent trip to Bahrain. A meeting that the Pope summed up in three words: dialogue, encounter and journey. 

Maria José Atienza-November 9, 2022-Reading time: 3 minutes
pope francisco barein

Pope Francis held his usual Wednesday morning audience this morning. The Pope was able to greet the thousands of people who were waiting for him in St. Peter's Square, with the weather already cold, as he himself pointed out.

During his journey to the foot of the Petrine Basilica he was able to bless many children and even have some brief conversations with several of the pilgrims.

After the reading from the prophet Isaiah (Is 2:2-5), which announces the end of time, Pope Francis began his catechesis by focusing on his recent trip to Bahrain, "a kingdom I did not know. Three words summarize, according to the Holy Father, this trip: dialogue, encounter and journey.

Dialogue, encounter and journey

"The dialogue is the oxygen of peace, stressed the Pope, who explained that the reason for his trip was to respond to the invitation of the King of Bahrain to participate in the "Forum for Dialogue: East and West for Human Coexistence". In this sense, the Pope affirmed, it is necessary to dialogue, to know and discover the richness of those who belong to other countries, to other faiths.

In Bahrain, "I felt the need to say that, throughout the world, religious and civil leaders must be able to look beyond themselves to care for the whole. In this way, other issues such as the forgetfulness of God, hunger and the stewardship of creation can be addressed".

"We need to find us at"The Pope also emphasized the second defining word of his trip. In order to carry out dialogue, it is necessary to encounter. In this sense, the Pope gave the example of "Bahrain, which is made up of islands and they went to meet each other, they did not separate but met", he explained, referring to the Mass presided by the Holy Father in the National Stadium of Bahrain.

The Pope stressed the need for more meetings between Muslims and Christians. In this regard, he underscored his meeting with "my brother, the great imam of Al Azhar," with young people at the Sacred Heart School and the meeting with the council of Muslim elders.

He also recalled a significant gesture: "In Barein people hold their hand to their heart when they greet, and I did it too, to give space inside me to the person I was greeting".

The road to peace needs everyone

A way of peace. Pope Francis wanted to point out that "this trip to Bahrain is not an isolated episode, it is part of a journey begun by John Paul II on his trip to Morocco. Not to water down the faith, but to build". The Pope recalled that "in order to dialogue, one must start from one's own identity. For a dialogue to be good, one must be aware of one's own identity".

Finally, the Pope wanted to highlight the example of unity among Christians of very diverse origins that he saw in Bahrain. A community "on the way", as Pope Francis defined it. "The brothers in Barein live on the road, many are immigrant workers from different countries who have found their home in the great family of the Church. It is beautiful to see these Filipino Christians, from India... who gather and are strengthened in the faith," he recalled.

At the end of his remarks, the Pope made a call to "broaden your horizons, open your hearts. We are all brothers", he said, pointing out that it is necessary that "this fraternity goes further". Moreover, the Pope wanted to point out that "if you dedicate yourself to know the other you will not feel threatened, but if you are afraid of the other you will live in the threat. The path of peace needs each and every one of us".

Going to God with the freedom of children

The children were once again the protagonists of this audience, several of them came to greet the Pope while the readings were given in different languages. In fact, the Pope wanted to give an example of this freedom of the children who "did not ask permission, they did not say 'I am afraid'. They came directly. This is how we have to be with God. Go ahead, He is always waiting for us".

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