Pope Francis visited Morocco last weekend. The following are extracts from some of his speeches:

A fraternal and respectful society

At a meeting with Moroccan autho­ri­ties, civil society and diplomats in Rabat, the Pope said: “If we wish to share in the building of a society that is open, fraternal and respectful of differences, it is vital to foster the culture of dialogue and adhere to it unfailingly, to adopt mutual cooperation as our code of conduct and reciprocal under­standing as our method and standard.

“We are called to pursue this path tirelessly, to help each other overcome tensions and misunderstandings, clichés and stereotypes that generate fear and opposition. In this way, we will encourage the growth of a fruitful and respectful spirit of cooperation. It is likewise essential that fanaticism and extremism be countered by solidarity on the part of all believers, grounded in the lofty shared values that inspire our actions.”

Four verbs

At a meeting with migrants at the premises of diocesan Caritas in Rabat on March 30, the Pope said: “I wanted to suggest four verbs – accept, protect, promote and integrate – that can help those who want to help make this covenant more concrete and real, to act prudently rather than remain silent, to assist rather than isolate, to build up rather than abandon.

“Dear friends, I would like to reiterate the importance of these four verbs. They form a frame of reference for us all. For we are all involved in this effort – involved in different ways, but all involved – and all of us are needed in the work of building a more dignified, safe and fraternal life. I like to think that the very first volunteer, assistant, rescuer or friend of a migrant is another migrant who knows at first hand the sufferings of the journey.

“We cannot develop large-scale strategies capable of restoring dignity by adopting a welfare approach alone. That kind of assistance is essential, but insufficient. You who yourselves are migrants should feel called to take the lead and assist in organising this whole process.”

On Jerusalem

In a joint declaration, King Mo­hammed VI and Pope Francis said: “We consider it important to preserve the Holy City of Jeru­salem /Al-Quds Acharif as the common patrimony of humanity, and especially the followers of the three monotheistic religions, as a place of encounter and a symbol of peaceful coexistence, where mutual respect and dialogue can be cultivated. To this end, the specific multireligious character, the spiritual dimension and the particular cultural identity of Jerusalem/Al-Quds Acharif must be protected and promoted.”

(Compiled by Fr Joe Borg)

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