Pope Francis Tries To Heal Wounds During His Speech In Egypt

Seth Doane of CBS News reported that on the trip to Egypt, Pope Francis emphasized interfaith dialogue and an end to religious violence.

While Egypt has escaped the sort of sectarian violence that has decimated ancient Christian communities in Syria and Iraq, it is under threat from Islamic State militants who launched a campaign in December to wipe out Egypt's Christians, carrying out three church attacks that have killed more than 70 people.

The Pope's visit comes almost two weeks after the Palm Sunday bombing of two Coptic churches, brazen strikes that left at least 45 people dead.

His comments came during the now-customary news conference the pontiff conducts at the end of his global trips, in this case a two-day visit to Cairo, Egypt.

Egypt has around 272,000 Catholics and 213 parishes out of a total population of almost 89 million.

It's time, around the world, to draw the line on what is good and non-violent as part of a religion and what is not, she said.

Rather, Francis urged them to lead their flocks and not be dragged down by pessimism and disappointment.

He said: "May you be sowers of hope, builders of bridges and agents of dialogue and harmony". Unlike that visit, security measures here seemed to separate the pope from the people of Cairo, as officials, already skeptical of public assemblies, cordoned off and essentially shut down the city in the areas he visited.

Pope was in Egypt on a two-day trip created to forge Muslim-Christian brotherhood and show solidarity with the country's persecuted Coptic Christian minority, Efe news reported.

The pope will directly head to the airport from the seminary to fly.

The Mass was conducted in Latin, Italian and Arabic with some chants in Coptic.

The crowd cheered him wildly, waiving Egyptian and Holy See flags and swaying to hymns sung by church choirs.

He argued that education, which Al-Azhar has large influence over in the Sunni world beyond Egypt's borders, was crucial to preventing new generations of radicals.

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Egypt's Catholic community is estimated at about 272,000, with much of the rest following the Coptic Orthodox Church.

Speaking on board the papal plane returning to Rome from Cairo, the Latin American Pontiff called for a "diplomatic solution" to be negotiated.

Egypt's Coptic Christians have repeatedly been targeted in recent deadly attacks, including ones carried out by ISIS.

During Mass, Francis urged the faithful to transcend their divisions.

"God is pleased only by a faith that professes its love for life, for the only fanaticism believers must profess is that of charity", the Pontiff said. Some tooted horns and beat on drums, while others released yellow, white and blue balloons, including one in the shape of a cross.

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.

The Pope's two-day trip was aimed at forging closer ties among the country's Christian and Muslim populations.

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

Francis commended the efforts of Tawadros II, whom he called a brother, in organizing meetings between the Coptic Orthodox and Catholic churches. Police used metal detectors to check vehicles for explosives and armed guards stood watch, some on rooftops, their faces covered.

But Francis made a decision to forego the bullet-proof "popemobile" his predecessors used on foreign trips and drove through Cairo in a simple Fiat, his window rolled down.

The Air Defense Stadium is part of the defense ministry's sports village.

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During his statement before the closing session of the global conference on peace at the headquarters of Al-Azhar, Pope Francis underlined the need to respect the religious rights and freedoms of the other and to pursue the call of tolerance in fully awareness that no act of violence can be committed in the name of God.

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