His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa led well-wishers in welcoming His Holiness Pope Francis and his accompanying delegation upon their arrival in Bahrain on November 3 on a historic four-day official visit to the kingdom, at the invitation of His Majesty the King.
During the visit, HM King Hamad held a meeting with HH Pope Francis, who also participated in the Bahrain Dialogue Forum: East and West for Human Coexistence, held under the patronage of HM the King.
HH Pope Francis was also welcomed by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Prime Minister.
HH the Pope greeted the Bahraini senior officials and HM the King greeted members of the visiting delegation.
Later, HH Pope Francis left for Sakhir Palace, accompanied by the Royal Guard cavalry, while children scattered rose petals and folk bands performed traditional music in celebration of the visit.
The receiving delegation was headed by Minister of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowment, HE Nawaf Al Muawda.
The delegation of HH Pope Francis comprises Secretary of State of His Holiness Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Pro-Prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization Cardinal Luis Antonio G. Tagle, Prefect of the Dicastery for the Eastern Churches Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity Cardinal Kurt Koch, Prefect of the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue Cardinal Miguel Á. Ayuso Guixot, Substitute of the Secretariat of State Archbishop Edgar Pena Parra, Secretary for Relation with States and Int. Organizations Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, Apostolic Nuncio to the Kingdom of Bahrain Archbishop Eugene Martin Nugent, O.F.M. Cap. Apostolic Administrator of Northern Arabia Bishop Paul Hinder, Official of the Secretariat of State Msgr. Mario Codamo, Interpreter Mons. Christopher Washington, Secretary of the Apostolic Nunciature Msgr. Mario Biffi, Official of the Secretariat of State Fr. Javier Carnerero Penalver, Local Coordinator Fr. Gaspar Fernandes and Prefect of the Dicastery for Communication Dr. Paolo Ruffini.
HM King Hamad also led well-wishers in welcoming His Eminence Dr. Ahmed Al Tayeb, Sheikh of the Al Azhar Mosque and Chairman of the Muslim Council of Elders, upon his arrival earlier in the Kingdom at an invitation by HM the King.
HM King Hamad held a meeting with HE Dr. Ahmed Al Tayeb who also participated in the Forum.
HE Dr. Ahmed Al Tayeb was also welcomed by His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Prime Minister.
His Eminence greeted the Bahraini senior officials and HM the King greeted members of the visiting delegation.
HM the King commended the visit of HE the Grand Imam Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb to the Kingdom and his participation in the forum, stressed the key role of Al Azhar Mosque in promoting the Islamic values of moderation, tolerance and coexistence.
HE Dr. Ahmed Al Tayeb expressed thanks and appreciation to HM the King for the gracious welcome and hospitality and for his invitation to participate in the forum.
CCD reprinted with permission.