Spiritual leadership and prayers of King Mohammed VI are precious to us, Pope Francis says
“The spiritual leadership and prayers of HM King Mohammed VI, Commander of the Faithful, are precious to us,” said Pope Francis on Wednesday.
Pope Francis made the remarks when receiving the King’s advisor, Andre Azoulay, who came to greet the Supreme Pontiff in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican City.
Azoulay, who was accompanied by Rajae Naji El Mekkaoui, Morocco’s ambassador to the Holy See, and Professor Abdellah Ouzitane, president of the Center for Studies and Research on Hebrew Law in Bayt Dakira, conveyed to Pope Francis the fraternal and profoundly friendly greetings of King Mohammed VI.
He also recalled the historic resonance of Pope Francis’ visit to Morocco in March 2019.
“The visit is marked with the seal of exception and its memories remain vivid in the heart and memory of all Moroccans,” said Azoulay.
During his visit to Rome, the Royal advisor participated in the symposium on “The Common Word and the Spirituality of action”, held by Morocco’s Embassy to the Holy See at the Pontifical University.
In an address to the symposium, the Vatican’s Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, welcomed the distinguished relations between Morocco and the Holy See, saying that the Kingdom, a “natural bridge between Africa and Europe,” is, as described by Pope Francis, an example of interfaith dialogue.
“Morocco is a plural and tolerant country, which has always been a crossroads of civilizations,” the Cardinal said.
In his presentation, André Azoulay underlined that the respect and fidelity to the Abrahamic legacy is at the core of the unity and modernity of the Moroccan Society.
This legacy remains “the foundation of unity, coherence and singular legitimacy of inter-religious dialogue when it bears the Moroccan signature,” Azoulay said, recalling the “secular depth of the relations that Morocco has maintained over the centuries with the Holy See, and which has culminated with His Holiness Pope Francis’ historic visit to Morocco in March 2019.”
The roadmap proposed during this visit by King Mohammed VI and Pope Francis to the community of nations has been and will be a landmark for billions of believers, Muslims, Christians and Jews in search of mutual respect and serenity, embodied by the hopes and promises of Abraham’s prophecy, added Azoulay.
He also expressed his gratitude to Pope Francis for his efforts to bring about a new era of peace and to the organizers of this symposium who have put Morocco at the heart of this event.
“This choice owes nothing to chance or to the complacency of anyone, it is a legitimate recognition of the excellent and exemplary path taken by our country to rebuild and consolidate a national consensus on the values of listening, sharing and progress,” said the Royal Advisor.
The Archbishop of Rabat, Cardinal Cristóbal López Romero, commended, for his part, the contribution of the Kingdom to the promotion of interfaith dialogue and the creation of an environment conducive to coexistence where the spirit of friendship and brotherhood reigns. This is “a very positive feature that gives us the opportunity to live in peace and harmony here on the land of Morocco,” he said.
The symposium is part of the commemoration of the historic visits to the Vatican City of the late Hassan II in 1980, and King Mohammed VI in 2000.
The event was marked by the participation of eminent religious, diplomatic and political figures, including the head of the office for Islam at the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Bishop Khaled Akasheh, who stressed the unique Moroccan model of coexistence and tolerance.