An official statement of the Vatican confirmed today, Saturday, that Pope Francis thanked the supreme religious authority in Iraq, Ali al-Sistani, for raising his voice with the Shiites in defense of the weak.
The statement stated, “His Holiness visited Najaf this morning, Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Hussaini Al-Sistani, and during the friendly visit, which lasted about forty-five minutes, His Holiness stressed the importance of cooperation and friendship between religious groups, so that they can contribute to the good of Iraq.” And the region and all of humanity, by promoting mutual respect and dialogue. “
The statement added, “This meeting was an opportunity for His Holiness the Pope to thank Grand Ayatollah Sistani for raising his voice, with the Shiite community, about the violence and the great difficulties witnessed in recent years, in defense of the weak and oppressed, stressing the sanctity of human life and the importance of the unity of the Iraqi people.”
According to the statement, the Pope repeated his prayers to God while bidding farewell to the Grand Ayatollah, for a peaceful and fraternal future for the beloved land of Iraq, the Middle East and the whole world.