“We can learn a lot in Pakistan. The Global Conference of Human Fraternity, held in Abu Dhabi, will generate a new wave of harmony and peace in the Middle East and throughout the world. We appreciate the efforts of Pope Francis, of the Great Imam of Al Azhar, of Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayeb and of the leadership of the United Arab Emirates for their commitment in carrying out this noble mission of peace and harmony.”
This is what Cardinal Joseph Coutts, Archbishop of Karachi and President of the Episcopal Conference of Pakistan, who was present in Abu Dhabi during the Pope’s visit, from February 3-5, 2019, said in an interview with Fides News Agency published on February 8.
Cardinal Coutts observed: “The conference was very important and fruitful because people of various faiths gathered in one place to talk about a message of love, peace, fraternity, according to the teachings of their respective religions. Those present said that no religion teaches hatred and to kill in the name of God.”
And he continued: “citizens in Pakistan can take the example of the United Arab Emirates, which celebrates the Year of Tolerance in 2019. The United Arab Emirates is an Islamic country that offers an example of peace, harmony, and tolerance, taking care of the fundamental rights of people living in their land. The government has given religious communities, including the Catholic Church, land to build their places of prayer and worship.”
“The Cathedral of Saint Joseph in Abu Dhabi and the Mosque of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, are built side by side: an enormous symbol of peace and harmony in the country,” noted the Cardinal, whose episcopal motto is “Harmony” and also actively works to promote inter-religious dialogue and harmony in Pakistan.
The Cardinal concluded: “Thanks to the presence of Pope Francis a new chapter of the history in the United Arab Emirates and the Middle East begins, which will make the message of human fraternity and of the protection of the rights of every individual more effective. This message will reach all the people in the world, nourishing peaceful coexistence.”