Baghdad (Agenzia Fides) - "With the speeches and gestures of his trip to Egypt, Pope Francis has opened many doors: with Islam, with political authorities, among Christians. We hope that now Muslims also take the opportunity, and take advantage of this support offered to them by the Church".
This is how Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako suggests the path to flourish possible positive developments from the apostolic visit carried out by Pope Francis in Egypt on April 28 and 29. In those days, the Primate of the Chaldean Church was also present in Cairo, who was invited to the Peace Conference organized by the Sunni University of Al Azhar. "I stayed in Egypt even the following days" said Patriarch Louis Raphael to Agenzia Fides, "and I was able to register the great impression left by the visit of the Pope throughout the Country. Everyone was amazed, they realized that something new had happened. Christians were happy, and of course the Pope's visit was a great comfort for all the baptized in the Middle East. Muslims were also happy, because the Pope made steps and gestures that they did not dream of, such as when he embraced Great Imam Ahmed al Tayyib and called him 'brother'". "Now", insists the Patriarch, "all the doors are open. We are all called to make sure they do not close. The Pope has made prophetic speeches, without recriminating and condemning anyone, showing everyone the path we have ahead, to be carried out together. Even the Churches of the Middle East, and especially their pastors, in this historic moment are called not to lock themselves in the automatisms of the usual routine, and to propose themselves as a prophetic presence at the service of reconciliation, reforms, shared rights of citizenship and of charity, in our Countries ravaged by violence and sectarian fanaticism. The Pope, did what he was had to do. Now it is up to us, both Christians and Muslims of the Middle East, to do our part". (GV) (Agenzia Fides 4/5/2017)