Pope Francis Receives the Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Elders at the Vatican and Reviews Preparations for the Faith Pavilion at COP28
The Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Elders, Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam has held a meeting with His Holiness Pope Francis, the Pontiff of the Catholic Church, at the Vatican City. During the meeting, His Holiness emphasized the crucial importance of interfaith dialogue in addressing global challenges, particularly conflicts and the climate change crisis currently affecting our world.
The Secretary-General also provided Pope Francis with an overview of the preparations for the Faith Pavilion at COP28, which is being co-organized by the Muslim Council of Elders in collaboration with the COP28 Presidency and the United Nations Environment Programme. He also noted that the Faith Pavilion aims to serve as a global platform for dialogue among leaders and representatives of various faiths, while also engaging them in efforts to combat climate change. Judge Abdelsalam also conveyed the appreciation of the Muslim Council of Elders, under the Chairmanship of His Eminence Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, for Pope Francis' efforts in promoting interfaith dialogue, peace, and human fraternity. He further commended Pope Francis' ongoing calls for environmental preservation, especially within his latest Apostolic Exhortation, 'Laudate Deum'.
Abdelsalam also affirmed that the United Arab Emirates places great importance on involving religious leaders and representatives in addressing global humanitarian challenges, particularly the issue of climate change, which was underscored by His ecellency Dr. Sultan al Jaber, the COP28 President-Designate, during his meeting with Pope Francis last week. Judge Abdelsalam also added that the COP28 Presidency is making significant efforts to ensure the success of the Interfaith Summit for Climate.
Furthermore, the Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Elders held a meeting with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Secretary of State of the Vatican. The meeting centered around the latest updates regarding the Interfaith Summit scheduled to take place in Abu Dhabi on November 6 and 7, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, in partnership with the COP28 Presidency and the Catholic Church. The significance of the summit was underscored, highlighting the Holy See's keen interest in involving religious leaders in addressing the negative impacts of climate change. It was also emphasized that the messages arising from the Religious Leaders' Summit to COP28 is crucial and that the climate crisis necessitates solidarity and the participation of all in confronting it.
The Secretary-General also met with Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso, the Prefect of Vatican's Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue and Chairman of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity. The meeting discussed the progress of work related to the Interfaith Summit as well as the recommendations that may arise from the upcoming summit, which will be presented from religious leaders to the COP28 Conference, and that the climate crisis represents an opportunity for universal solidarity and cooperation.