Abu Dhabi (Agenzia Fides) - "You represent the diversity of the people mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles on the day of Pentecost ... Greetings and blessings on behalf of Pope Francis, who assured me that he is close to all of you with special affection and esteem," said Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, in his homily celebrated yesterday, 12 June, in the church dedicated to St. Joseph in Abu Dhabi.
The Cardinal recalled in particular the situation of immigrants: "I know that you belong to so many Countries, some of whom I know well and where I spent a few years of my life as a priest and Bishop, learning to appreciate your culture. Today you live here, in a land that allows you to work and earn the bread for you and your families. This is an important aspect, because in life we are all a bit immigrants. In addition, you live and work in a land dear to Islam, a religion with which we Christians share the principle of the only God and the value of prayer. Here you learn to practice inter-religious coexistence based on mutual respect and collaboration."
Cardinal Filoni encouraged the faithful recalling the commitment of the community: "Today you cannot be a Christian for the simple reason of being born into a Christian family. This is even more true for you, you live in a country different from yours. Every day you have the choice to renew faith, giving priority to God, and overcoming temptations from different cultures. The tests which you are subjected to are very often numerous. The temptation to set aside faith is always present and conversion becomes a response to God which must be confirmed many times."
Cardinal Filoni’s visit to UAE (see Fides 11/06/2013) is very important for the consecration of a new church dedicated to St. Anthony. With the construction and the official consecration of the new church, the number of Catholic places of worship in the seven states of the federation of the Emirates rises to eight. The Vicariate of South Arabia includes about 2.5 million Catholics belonging to more than 90 nationalities, especially Asians, mainly from the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 13/06/2013)