A Humble Message to Egypt and the Entire World from Pope Francis
Pope Francis, head of the Roman Catholic Church, led a joyous mass for thousands of Egyptian Catholics on Saturday during a visit to support the country’s embattled Christian minority and promote dialogue with Muslims. His humble message to the people of Egypt, and the world, was very inspiring.
“There are no perfect families. We don’t have perfect parents, we are not perfect, we don’t get married to the perfect person nor do we have perfect kids. We complain about each other. We disappoint each other. Therefore, there are no healthy marriages or healthy families without the exercise of forgiveness. Forgiveness is vital to our emotional health and spiritual survival. Without forgiveness the family becomes a theater of conflict and a bastion of grievances. Without forgiveness the family gets sick. Forgiveness is the sterilization of the soul, the cleaning of the mind and the liberation of the heart. Who does not forgive has no peace of soul nor communion with God. The pain is a poison that intoxicates and kills. Save a wound of the heart is a self-destructive gesture. Who does not forgive sickens physically, emotionally and spiritually. That’s why the family has to be a place of life and not of death; territory of healing and not of disease; stage of forgiveness and not of guilt. Forgiveness brings joy where sorrow produced pain; and healing, where pain caused disease.”
Pope Francis arrived to Egypt on Friday for a historic visit that aimed at presenting a united Christian-Muslim front to repudiate violence committed in God’s name. “Violence cannot be committed in the name of god,” Pope Francis has said during a speech on Friday at Al-Azhar International Peace Conference. “All acts of violence that oppose peace only fuel radicalism and lead to violence. The future principally relies on the dialogue between all religions.”
The Pope’s visit is also meant to lift the spirits of the Egyptian Christian community after three suicide bombings since December – including deadly twin Palm Sunday church attacks – killed at least 75 people.
The spiritual leader is the first pope to ever visit the headquarters of Ahmed al-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, one of the Muslim world’s leading religious authorities.
His entire tightly scheduled trip was heavily secured as he traveled from one engagement to another in a closed car that wasn’t bulletproof due to the Pope’s request. President Abdelfattah Al-Sisi assigned the Armed Forces to coordinate with the Ministry of Interior to secure the visit.