Pope refers to ‘Mus­lim brothers’ on Good Fri­day

Pakistan Observer - - PAGE 06 -

ROME— Pope Fran­cis reached out in friend­ship to “so many Mus­lim brothers and sis­ters” dur­ing a Good Fri­day pro­ces­sion ded­i­cated to the suf­fer­ing of Chris­tians from ter­ror­ism, war and re­li­gious fa­nati­cism in the Mid­dle East.

The new pon­tiff, who has ran­kled tra­di­tion­al­ists by re­ject­ing many trap­pings of his of­fice, mostly stuck to the tra­di­tional script dur­ing the night­time Way of the Cross pro­ces­sion at Rome’s Colos­seum, one of the most dra­matic rit­u­als of Holy Week.

With torches light­ing the way, the faith­ful car­ried a cross to dif­fer­ent sta­tions, where med­i­ta­tions and prayers were read out re­call­ing the fi­nal hours of Je­sus’ life and his cru­ci­fix­ion.

This year, the prayers were com­posed by young Le­banese, and many re­called the plight of mi­nor­ity Chris­tians in the re­gion, where wars have forced thou­sands to flee their home­lands. The med­i­ta­tions called for an end to “vi­o­lent fun­da­men­tal­ism,” ter­ror­ism and the “wars and vi­o­lence which in our days dev­as­tate var­i­ous coun­tries in the Mid­dle East.”

Fran­cis, who be­came pope just over t wo weeks ago, chose, how­ever, to stress Chris­tians’ pos­i­tive re­la­tions with Mus­lims in the re­gion in his brief com­ments at the end of the cer­e­mony.— AP

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