Pope Francis condemns the burning of the Quran in Sweden, Calls for Fraternity and Concrete Actions
In an interview with the UAE’s Al-Ittihad newspaper, Pope Francis expressed his indignation and disgust over the recent burning of Quran pages in Sweden. He emphasized the importance of respecting sacred texts and denounced the use of freedom of expression as an excuse for despising others. The Pope called for such actions to be rejected and condemned, stating that any book considered sacred by its believers must be respected.
Addressing his own health after a recent abdominal surgery, Pope Francis expressed gratitude for the professionalism of the medical staff and thanked all those who prayed for him. Reflecting on his visit to Abu Dhabi in 2019, he appreciated the commitment of the UAE and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed in promoting brotherhood, peace, and tolerance. The Pope urged adults not to leave young people vulnerable to illusions and clashes between civilizations, emphasizing the importance of equipping them with freedom, discernment, and responsibility.
Pope Francis stressed the need to protect young people from negative influences, false news, materialism, hatred, and prejudice. He emphasized that freedom of thought and expression are essential for their growth and learning. The Pontiff urged society not to treat young people as incapable but to provide them with the necessary tools, guiding them towards freedom and responsibility. He highlighted the significance of investing in the present generation to ensure continuity and encouraged adhering to the golden rule of treating others as we would like to be treated.
When asked about the Document on Human Fraternity, Pope Francis mentioned its importance for interreligious dialogue and peaceful coexistence among all human beings. He shared his practice of giving the document to delegations visiting the Vatican, as he believes it holds valuable principles for building a civilization of brotherhood. The Pope affirmed that the future hinges on either a civilization of brotherhood or one of enmity, emphasizing the need for collective effort and cooperation to shape a positive future.
Pope Francis expressed his satisfaction with the global acceptance of the document’s message and objectives. He underscored the significance of human brotherhood as an antidote to heal the wounds of the world. The Pope emphasized reciprocity, respect for others, and the pursuit of truth as the foundation for interreligious cooperation. He called for the transformation of religious sentiments into tangible acts of cooperation, fraternity, and concrete goodwill.
Regarding the increase in terrorist threats, Pope Francis aligned with the document’s condemnation of practices that threaten life, such as genocide, terrorism, forced displacement, organ trafficking, abortion, euthanasia, and policies that support such acts.
The Pope praised the Abrahamic House in Abu Dhabi, which encompasses a Church, Mosque, and Synagogue, as a testament to the realization of human fraternity. Furthermore, Pope Francis addressed the urgent climate and environmental crisis, emphasizing the need to turn declarations into actionable solutions before it is too late. He called for realistic approaches to tackle the ecological crisis effectively.