Interreligious dialogue is an important key in combatting extremism, and a way to work from tolerating others, to esteem.
Pope Francis kicked off his March 30-31 visit to Morocco stressing this point to Moroccan authorities and the diplomatic corps this morning in Rabat.
“We must always go from simple tolerance to respect and esteem of others,” he said. Calling for this dialogue, he encouraged a welcoming of others in their own faiths, and enriching each other with difference, “in a relationship marked by kindness and the search for what we can do together.”
Speaking to the authorities, Francis praised the history and natural beauty of the country, and promoted interreligious dialogue and reciprocal knowledge between the faithful of our two religions.”
The Roman Pontiff proposed “the courage of the meeting and the outstretched hand” to “overcome together tensions and misunderstandings, masks and stereotypes.”
It is “essential,” the Pope insisted, “that fanaticism and extremism be countered by solidarity on the part of all believers.”
The Holy Father also affirmed that liberty of conscience and religious freedom “are not limited to freedom of worship alone, but must allow everyone to live according to their own religious beliefs...”
Pope Francis concluded, encouraging “Catholics and Christians to be here, in Morocco, servants, promoters and defenders of human fraternity.”
The Pope had received a warm welcome to the country despite the rain he found upon arrival. This visit marks his 28th Apostolic Visit, 42nd country visited and third trip to Africa. ZENIT is following the trip from the papal flight.