Pope Francis Winds Up Trip To Egypt


The stadium chosen for Saturday's mass is on Cairo's outskirts and easier to secure, but in 2015 it saw clashes between football fans and a stampede that killed 19 people. Pope John Paul II came to Egypt in 2000, a year before the September 11 attacks on the United States that convulsed Western relations with the Muslim world.

Pope Francis said he was ready to meet US President Donald Trump when Trump visits Europe in May, but that he was not aware Washington had made a request for a meeting.

The Catholic pontiff arrived in a simple blue Fiat, with his window rolled down, a contrast to the tight security in place for his two-day visit.

Others waved the yellow-and-white Vatican flags as he rode in an open-roofed golf cart around the stadium after his arrival.

He also offered a homily at a mass he led, with joint Coptic and Catholic prayers, at the Air Defence Stadium in Cairo. She applauded seeing all Egyptians, including both Christians and Muslims, joining together for his visit.

The country is predominately Muslim, with Christianity, including Orthodox, Coptic Orthodox, and Catholics, making up only 10 percent of the population.

Attacks against Copts in the northern part of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, the epicenter of the jihadist group's brutal insurgency, have forced hundreds of families to flee the region and seek refuge elsewhere in the country.

Pope Francis waves as he arrives to lead a mass in Cairo, Egypt April 29, 2017.

The visit was partially created to comfort Egypt's minority Christians following a spate of deadly attacks since December against their churches.

"The main aspect of this visit is that we have now to decide, if we need and want this religion, to look into the past, and study the real religion, not what people say about it".

"All Christians in Egypt, they needed this long-awaited visit for support, spiritually", said Ashraf Nagaty, 33, an internal auditor at a private company who was seated in the stands along with his mother.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, USA officials said the missile was probably a medium-range weapon known as a KN-1. In this regard, we are encouraged to engage in a deeper study of the Oriental and Latin Fathers, and to promote a fruitful exchange in pastoral life, especially in catechesis, and in mutual spiritual enrichment between monastic and religious communities.

"Here the temptation is to think we are better than others, and to lord it over them out of pride; to presume to be served rather than to serve", Francis explained.

He suggested using a nation like Norway to facilitate talks between Pyongyang and Washington, but said there are many that could fill the role. "We can not afford to lose this battle".

"He is not afraid", Morgan said. "That is very courageous".

The pope was asked if the case of Giulio Regeni came up in his meeting with President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt. Mr. Regeni was a young Italian doctoral student from Cambridge studying trade unionism in Egypt when he was abducted in February 2016.

During the brief trip, the Pope made his way to Egypt's prestigious al-Azhar University and adjunct mosque, considered one of the highest authorities in Sunni Islam, where he met with Grand Imam Ahmed el-Tayyeb and addressed participants in the International Peace Conference.

Pope Francis visited the presidential palace, the headquarters of Al-Azhar, the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral and St Leo's Patriarchal Seminary in Maadi during the time of his stay. The two leaders then presided over an ecumenical prayer service in St. Peter's church in Cairo, the site of another suicide bombing claimed by ISIS, according to the Vatican.

Pope Francis is telling Egypt's Catholic priests to stop complaining about the challenges they face and instead work for harmony and dialogue.