Pope Francis - Courtesy of Aleteia Image Department on Flickr
CAIRO - 30 March 2017: Pope Francis will lead a Catholic mass at Cairo Stadium on April 29 during his two-day visit to Egypt, Nader Gerges, head of Egyptian Tourism Ministry’s Committee of Reviving the Path of the Holy Family, said Thursday.
The mass will be attended by religious delegations from Lebanon and Jordan and a number of public figures, he told
Pope Francis, head of the Roman Catholic Church, will be accompanied by 36 cardinals and 80 journalists from Italian and French media outlets and from Vatican Radio, Gerges added. The media group will arrive in Cairo a week before the Pope’s visit, and the Ministry of Tourism has prepared a tourist schedule for the delegation.
The slogan, “Pope of Peace in the Country of Peace” has been adopted by the Egyptian Catholic Church ahead of the Holy Father’s visit.
It was confirmed by Egypt and Vatican City on March 18 that Pope Francis will visit Egypt April 28-29 upon an invitation from Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.
The Pope will meet with al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb at the Sheikhdom headquarters in Cairo, and with Pope Tawadros II of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria.
In November 2014, President Sisi met with Pope Francis at the Apostolic Palace in Rome. Both sides discussed the resumption of dialogue between Al-Azhar and the Vatican by reactivating the Al-Azhar-Vatican joint committee for dialogue.
The dialogue was suspended in 2011 after the former Roman Catholic Pope, Benedict XVI, called for protecting Coptic Christians in Egypt following an attack in Alexandria, on the Mediterranean Sea, in 2011. On the eve of 2011 a bomb detonated outside Two Saints Church and claimed lives of 23 people, injuring more than 90 others.
The Committee of Reviving the Path of the Holy Family is a project launched by the Ministry of Tourism to make the path of the Holy Family in Egypt a tourist destination.