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Pope in the United Arab Emirates: Mgr. Hinder, we are a Church “made up of migrants from all over the world”

A visit which “shows your pastoral care for this Church made up of migrants from all over the world”. Mgr. Paul Hinder, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia, used these words to greet Pope Francis at the end of the Mass at Zayed Sports City. “You came to us as Simon Peter who received the mandate from the Risen Lord to confirm his brothers and sisters in the faith”, the bishop continued: “We assure You of our prayers, and renew our fidelity to the Successor of Saint Peter”. “Eight hundred years ago, St Francis of Assisi met with Sultan al-Malik al-Kamil in Egypt”, Mgr. Hinder recalled: “It was a meeting characterised by mutual respect. Similarly, You came to a Muslim country with the intention to do as Saint Francis did in the year 1219”. “We Christians try to follow the advice that Saint Francis gave at his time to his brothers and sisters to ‘live spiritually among Muslims… not to engage in arguments but simply acknowledge that we are Christians”, the prelate said, thanking the authorities of the United Arab Emirates, “especially His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, who has generously made this visit possible and offered us this space in order to have a public Mass with as many faithful as possible. I thank all those belonging to the Church and all those who live in this country, who have worked hard to make this celebration possible”. Finally, he expressed his gratitude to “all those who have joined in the celebration: patriarchs, cardinals, bishops, priests, religious, women and men from neighbouring and distant countries, without forgetting those who have watched the celebration on TV”.

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