Pope Francis on Sunday reached out to Muslims to mark the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, as he urged mutual respect between Muslims and Christians.
Addressing thousands of the faithful gathered for his Angelus blessing in St Peter’s Square, the pontiff said: “I want to send a hello to Muslims around the world, our brothers, who a short time ago celebrated the conclusion of the month of Ramadan.”
“I hope that Christians and Muslims engage to promote mutual respect, especially through the education of new generations,” he said.
The pope had earlier sent a message of peace and brotherliness to the Muslim community. On August 2, Francis sent a text “as an expression of esteem and friendship to all Muslims, especially their religious leaders”.
In his text, he also called on both religions to “avoid unjustified or defamatory criticism” of each other.
The pontiff also exhorted Catholics to have “love of God”, who has “a name, and a face; he is called Jesus Christ,” he said, a deviation from his prepared script.
“That is the love which gives value and beauty to everything: the family, work, study, friendship, the arts and every human activity,” Pope Francis said as the faithful cheered.