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Pope Francis Winds Up Trip To Egypt

Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Air Defense Stadium in Cairo.(AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
Nariman El-Mofty
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Air Defense Stadium in Cairo.(AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

Pope Francis celebrated Mass in Cairo, Saturday, winding up a two-day visit to Egypt. President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi saw the Roman Catholic leader off at Cairo Airport at the end of the visit.

The Mass was held in a stadium under heavy security as Sylvia Poggioli reported on NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday, while military helicopters flew overhead. According to The Associated Press, some 15,000 Catholic Egyptians attended the service.

They heard the Pope say, in his homily, "God is pleased only by a faith that is proclaimed by our lives, for the only fanaticism believers can have is that of charity."

As Jane Arraf has reported, the visit was seen as important to Egypt's Christians — who are a minority in that country. Just three weeks ago, Coptic Christian churches were the targets of Islamist suicide bombers who killed more than 40 people.

Earlier in the Pope's visit, The Pope met with the Grand Imam at Al-Azhar University. He urged leaders of all faiths to reject violence and denounce intolerance.

Following Saturday's Mass, Pope Francis visited a Catholic seminary outside Cairo, waving to onlookers from a golf cart before meeting with priests, nuns, and seminarians on the campus.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jim Kane
Jim Kane is a Deputy Managing Editor overseeing weekends for NPR News. He guides the editorial and news coverage process to make sure NPR is covering the stories that need to be covered, in a way that's consistent with NPR's mission.

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