Monday, November 30, 2015

Something so right... Pope Francis visit to the Koudoukou mosque in Bangui.

Pope Francis arrives at the Koudoukou mosque in Bangui.

The Holy Father risked his life to go out to the peripheries.

I was really concerned for the Holy Father's safety while visiting Central African Republic.  I'm so happy he was willing to go, despite warnings.  God is with him.  Prayers in thanksgiving.

After removing his shoes on entering the Koudoukou mosque and bowing towards the holy Muslim city of Mecca, the pope told several hundred men inside that “Christians and Muslims are brothers and sisters”.
“Together, we must say no to hatred, to revenge and to violence, particularly that violence which is perpetrated in the name of a religion or of God himself. God is peace. Salaam,” he added, using the Arabic word for peace.
Francis said his visit to CAR “would not be complete if it did not include this encounter with the Muslim community”.
The chief imam at the mosque, Tidiani Moussa Naibi, thanked Francis for his visit, which he said was “a symbol which we all understand”.
Some Muslims are living in the mosque after being forced out of their homes by the violence. “We are very proud to welcome him. The pope is not only for the Christians, he is a servant of God for all Central Africans,” said Ibrahim Paulin, a spokesman for the displaced. - Guardian

 I noticed this amazing comment on Fr. Martin's Facebook page:

Saadia Ahmad As a Muslim engaged in and studying interfaith dialogue and outreach and within the post-9/11 context, it can get exhausting feeling as though we're doing so much outreach and not getting much effort back (partially to get our religion back from those who use it to justify and motivate their violent actions), and often encounter hostility and anger instead. It's so heartening to see our Pope be active in playing the role we all need to for interfaith dialog and reconciliation. Subhan'Allah (Arabic phrase meaning "thanks be to God") for him and the blessings, reminders, and gifts he brings all of God's children, regardless of faith or creed.
921 hr


  1. "Our pope"? Sounds like a potential convert, if not a covert one. It's funny because people are outraged that he goes to Mosques and does outreach; then again, in the Muslim thought process he probably is their pope because he had someone come and plant a tree with him in the Vatican garden.

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    1. It was a gracious gesture of charity and generosity on our Holy Father's part. Always giving without asking anything in return. I am hopeful that with his visit to their place of worship, they will be inspired to seek peace and reconciliation with their neighbors, the many Christians and other minorities of that city.

      I plan to read his interview in flight back home to Rome. ^^ I am very grateful to our Lady for watching over Papa Francis and all who travelled with him and all the faithful who participated in the many events that took place.

      One thing that I thought was right on was this quote from our Holy Father:

      "The most memorable part of this trip were the crowds, all that joy, that celebratory spirit, the will to celebrate even on an empty stomach. For me, Africa was a surprise. God always surprises us, but Africa surprises us too. I remember many moments, but above all, I remember the crowds… They felt ‘visited’, they are so incredibly welcoming and I saw this in all three nations."

  3. I love that Ms. Ahmed said "our Pope".

  4. I don't have a problem with the interfaith dialogue thing, even with Islam, after all it's really a Catholic heresy, but I'm always concerned if it goes too far where the truth is set aside for a meaningless Unitarian singalong. Not to say this was, but it does devolve sometimes into something that betrays all parties. And I would certainly hope that Middle Eastern bishops can give feedback into the process as their experience should hold great weight for anyone in the Church in the role.

  5. me a moron but I don't understand why he bowed towards Mecca. When a non-Catholic comes to my parish I don't expect them to genuflect in the direction of the tabernacle or kneel at the consecration. I don't ask this disrespectfully - I really would like to know. Thanks.

    1. I honestly do not know. JPII kissed the Koran. Benedict XVI gave communion to a famous non-Catholic monk. I have no idea what they are thinking or doing when they do that stuff. ;)

    2. Well if you don't know then it's not worth knowing lol !

    3. LOL! I was thinking about this - I wonder if he actually bowed towards Mecca or simply bowed to the person of the Iman who welcomed him? One bit of copy I read said he bowed to the Iman and towards Mecca - that was secular press - so I don't know. I'm not trying to make excuses for him - I was just thinking.

    4. Good point - must remember who is writing what.

    5. I just read Pat Archbold's take and com box - at least one person pointed out the translation differences in secular press - so it may be that. They're pretty mad about what he said regarding fundamentalists and condoms too.

      He's speaking off the cathedra again. Likewise - I think the pope is deeply distressed by the inequity and deep division he witnesses - as well as the extreme conditions in Africa and the plight of refugees and the lack of services - not to mention the bad government. What he says helps me to consider these things more deeply, more tangibly and urgently - they are so outside my experience and comfort level in my cozy little corner of South Minneapolis. He is so much like M. Teresa, I think. So determined to go out to the poorest of the poor.

      Hang in there!

    6. Elsewhere, I found this:

      "At the Central Mosque, Pope Francis removed his shoes, bowed his head and stood silently at the mihrab, or area of the mosque that faces Mecca." -

    7. I was wondering ... did St. Francis bow towards the Muslim King when he was summoned to the palace and questioned as to his reasons for being among his subjects? And if he did bow, was he showing respect towards the King and his station in life or was he kowtowing and casting aside his own beliefs as some of the hysterics would have us believe our Holy father has been so-called doing?
      If one is in complete communion with Christ and His Church, if one has complete trust, why be alarmed?

      I just don't get it.


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