Pope to Al-Azhar

Pope to Al-Azhar

‘Violence Is Negation of Every Authentic Religious Expression’

Pope Francis and Sheikh al-Tayeb

Pope Francis’ address to Al-Azhar International Conference on Peace

“God, the lover of life, never ceases to love man, and so he exhorts us to reject the way of violence as the necessary condition for every earthly ‘covenant.’”

While speaking to an international conference on peace at Al-Azhar, the highest theological and religious institution of Sunni Islam in the world and the oldest Islamic University, alongside its Grand Imam, Pope Francis said this, noting:

“Above all and especially in our day, the religions are called to respect this imperative, since, for all our need of the Absolute, it is essential that we reject any “absolutizing” that would justify violence.”

Violence, the Holy Father also stressed, “is the negation of every authentic religious expression.”

“It is of little or no use,” the Pope went on to stress, “to raise our voices and run about to find weapons for our protection: what is needed today are peacemakers, not fomenters of conflict; firefighters and not arsonists; preachers of reconciliation and not instigators of destruction.”

Christians, Muslims and all believers, he noted, are called to offer their specific contribution, as

“we live under the sun of the one merciful God…”

Here is the link to Vatican-provided translation of Pope Francis’ address  to the Participants in the International Peace Conference, Al-Azhar Conference Centre, Cairo, 28 April, 2017:


Here is a link to the Pope’s Address to Authorities and Diplomatic Corps in Egypt: Egypt Has Role to Play to Avoid Spread of Worse Violence, ‘Drawing on Egyptian Genius’ to Find Solutions:


Here is a link to the address of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew: “Religions and Peace” at Al-Azhar and Muslim Council of Elders’ Global Peace Conference: