Pope with British Imams: the most important thing is the capacity to listen

Rome Reports

As an outward sign of inter-religious dialogue with the Muslim world, Pope Francis held a private audience with Card. Vincent Nichols and four Imams from England.
First, Card. Nichols greeted the pope, thanking him for receiving the audience and for supporting the UK especially after the attack on Westminster Bridge.
CARD. VINCENT NICHOLS
Archbishop of Westminster
“We want to also ask for your prayers. And I personally would like to thank you very much for the message that you sent for us.”
Pope Francis then said the most important action both parties could take right now is to listen to the other.
POPE FRANCIS
“What we should do to make the human nature better, it’s the work of the ear, the work of listening. To listen to one another amongst us. To listen to one another without making any haste to give a response. To listen to the voice of a brother or a sister and think about it before we give a response. But the most important thing is the capacity to listen.”
Afterwards, the pope greeted the four imams and delivered them each a medallion as a sign of peace.
MOULANA MUHAMMAD SHAHID RAZA
Chairman, British Muslim Forum
“Today we are making history. We bring you on behalf, the message of peace and understanding and cooperation. Thank you very much. May God bless you.”
After the traditional photo, Pope Francis said goodbye to them all before leaving.
POPE FRANCIS
“Thank you. God bless you.”

From Zenit

Before his weekly General Audience this morning, April 5, 2017, Pope Francis met with a Catholic-Muslim delegation from Britain in the auletta of the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall.

Present wer: Maulana Ali Raza RIZVI, President of Majlis and Ulama Europe; Maulana Muhammad Shahid RAZA, Chairman of the British Muslim Forum, Great Britain; Shaykh Ibrahim MOGRA, Co-Chair of Christian Muslim Forum; and Maulana Sayed Ali Abbas RAZAWI, Director General of the Scottish Ahlul Bayt Society.

Here is a translation of the Holy Father’s greeting to the participants.

* * *

I welcome you with joy. I like to think that the most important work that we must do between us, in humanity, is the work “of the ear”: to listen to one another — to listen to one another without hurrying to give an answer. To receive the word of a brother, of a sister, and then to think of giving my own — but the capacity to listen, this is so important. It is interesting when persons have this capacity to listen, speaking in a low, tranquil tone . . . Instead, when they do not have it, they speak loudly and even shout. Among brothers, all of us must speak, listen to one another, and talk slowly, tranquilly, to seek the way together. And when one listens and speaks, one is already on the way.

I thank you for this path you are undertaking and I ask Almighty and Merciful God to bless you. And I ask you to pray for me.

Thank you very much.

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