Papal visit to Egypt hailed as a triumph

What happened?

Pope Francis made what has been widely seen as a successful visit to Egypt on April 28 and 29.

His meeting with Al-Azhar Grand Imam Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb was reported with a headline in the Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper reading “We reject violence under the name of God”.

At the Church of Ss Peter and Paul in Cairo, the Pope touched a wall stained by the blood of murdered Copts, and media reported that Francis was “visibly moved”.

What Middle Eastern media said

Halim Shebaya, a Beirut-based analyst writing for Al-Jazeera, praised Pope Francis as “a strong voice against Islamophobia”, pointing out that he has repeatedly refused to link Islam to terrorism. As a result, Shebaya wrote, “he brings with him the best of Christianity and a Muslim-friendly demeanour, defying images of the Christian ‘other’ or the Crusader or the proselytising missionary”. Shebaya also praised Francis for raising the abuse of minorities’ rights in Muslim-majority countries.

​How to continue reading…

This article appears in the Catholic Herald magazine - to read it in full subscribe to our digital edition from just 30p a week

The Catholic Herald is your essential weekly guide to the Catholic world; latest news, incisive opinion, expert analysis and spiritual reflection