Pictured right: Pope Francis is welcomed by students as he arrives to attend a meeting at the University of Roma Tre in Rome, Italy
Pictured right: Pope Francis leads a mass at the Roman Parish of Santa Maria a Setteville di Guidonia on the outskirts of Rome.
Upcoming synod needs young people’s voices
Initiating preparations for a meeting of the Synod of Bishops focused on youth, Pope Francis released a letter in January asking young people for their input. The Church, he says, wants “to listen to your voice, your sensitivities and your faith, even your doubts and your criticism.”
Pictured right: Pope Francis arrives to lead a consistory ceremony to install 17 new cardinals in Saint Peter's Basilica
Pictured right: Pope Francis presides over an ecumenical prayer service at the Malmo Arena in Sweden on Oct. 31
Pictured right: Pope Francis blesses a nun of Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity during the audience for workers and volunteers of mercy at the Vatican
Pictured right: A sick child greets Pope Francis during the weekly audience in Paul VI at the Vatican
Pictured right: Pope Francis is greeted by the faithful at Blonia Park during World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland.
Visit with Muslim scholar
After five years of silence, Pope Francis met with the Grand Imam of the renowned Al-Azhar mosque and university in Egypt on May 23. Sheik Ahmed el-Tayyib and the pontiff met at the Vatican to promote inter-religious dialogue and peace. Talks between the head of the important Sunni Muslim mosque and university had been discontinued in 2011 after a speech by Pope Benedict XVI which linked Islam and violence. “Our meeting is the message,” Pope Francis told the Grand Imam as he greeted him.
Visiting refugee detention center on Greek island of Lesbos
“Europe today faces one of its most serious humanitarian crises since the end of the Second World War,” states a declaration signed by Pope Francis and two leading Greek Orthodox churchmen. These three religious leaders met at a port in Lesbos, Greece to pray for all those seeking refuge, and to encourage political leaders to work toward ensuring all individuals have the freedom to remain in their own homelands. After the meeting, the pontiff returned to Italy with 12 refugees, including six children.