The New Far Pope, the New Near Dialogue

The Rising White Smoke announces the election of the New Pope (Al-Hayat Newspaper, Thursday, March14, 2013).

The newly elected Argentinean Pope Jorge Berguliu was a real surprise, even for his own home countrymen. Reasons are many; he is the first pope descended from the American continent. This was the first great surprise in the whole of Latin America and left residents of Buenos Aires spontaneously in streets and gathered in front of the cathedral to celebrate the arrival of the former archbishop of the Argentinean capital to power the papacy.

Immediately after declaring the identity of the new Pope by Cardinal Jean – Louis Tauran from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica, about 200 people gathered to commemorate at the Cathedral of Buenos Aires amid heavy applause, expressing joy, hugging each other and praying, many of whom were unable to prevent tears of joy, as reporter of Agence France-Presse was telling in the story covered the Arab media.

Another reason was that Jorge Berguliu is the first Jesuit to reach the helm Papacy. The auxiliary bishop of Buenos Aires, Eduardo Garcia told reporters that ‘a simple man and sympathize greatly with those in need’.

In Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in terms of population, there was a relief to have a new pope different from the former one who sent criticism against Islam. Salameh said Effendi Yusuf Head of the Indonesian Council of Ulemas (religious idols) hopes that the new pope would tend to dialogue rather than confrontation, with Islam. He went on commenting on the election of a new pope from the “Third World”:

“We believe that this will be a new chapter in the history of relations between Muslims and Catholics.” This was also the wish of Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, who hoped that Francis will works to promote dialogue between religions.

The New Pope, is welcomed internationally, and the Catholic Church enters a new era by choosing a Pope from the remotest part of the World (AnNahar Newspaper, Friday, March15, 2013).

In Cairo, The Al-Azhar (The name of the 1000 years old mosque, that represents the Muslims in the East), expressed hope in the ‘better relations’ with the Vatican after the election of the new pope and the emergence of ‘new approach’ allows the resumption of dialogue, which was Al-Azhar suspended with the Vatican early 2011. Mr. Said Mahmoud Azab, adviser to Sheikh of Al-Azhar; Ahmed Tayeb, sent his hopes that the world with the new Pope may prevail better relations to serve all of humanity.

Al-Azhar has suspended dialogue in early 2011 since the previous Pope’s speech of accusing Islam with violence, which sparked angry protests that left dead in parts of the Muslim world.

Pope Benedict tried five months later to correct his words by visiting Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul in an attempt to repair relations with the Muslim world.

The President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, sent a congratulatory telegram to the Pope Francis on the occasion of his election as Pope of the Vatican to succeed outgoing Pope Benedict XVI. According to the official UAE news agency ‘WAM'” ” Sheikh Khalifa expressed in his message sincere ‘wishes for the new Pope with success so as to enhance the values of peace, justice and tolerance in the world, The UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has sent a similar cable to the Pope.

The World Welcomes the First Latin American Pope. News of his involvement in kidnapping 2 priests in Argentina,( Al-Rai Newspaper, Friday, March15, 2013).

One Response to The New Far Pope, the New Near Dialogue

  1. ShinHeuk Kang 20 March , 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Seeing The New Pope Francois is from the American continent, not from Europe. the first Jesuit pope, it seems that apart from a person’s pronounced view, our apparent identity can be more influential to people. No matter how we think, we may be judged by people by our looks. Maybe it is not. Whether he wants it or not, relations between Muslims and catholics would be mitigated.
    We never know the contents of book unless we read. Maybe we cannot help judging by its cover.

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