in

the mission of Bishop Martinelli in the vicariate of Arabia

The prelate took possession of the vicariate and celebrated the first mass in the Cathedral of Saint Joseph in Abu Dhabi. Thanks to his predecessor, Bishop Hinder, for the “wonderful work”. Attention to Catholic parishes and schools. Safeguard the memory of the document of the Pope and the imam.

Abu Dhabi () – “Deep admiration” for this land of Arabia, which is rich in “numerous traditions” and a “crossroads”, where “people from many different nations meet, interact and work”, thank you ” to respect, tolerance and coexistence” promoted by their rulers. With a call for multiculturalism and tolerance, in the land where Pope Francis and the Imam of al-Azhar signed the document on “Human Fraternity”, the new Apostolic Vicar of South Arabia, Bishop Pablo Martinelli, made his official entry into the Cathedral of Saint Joseph in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates.

On July 2, he was received by his predecessor, Bishop Paul Hinder, 80, who led the vicariate for more than 18 years since 2003 and submitted his resignation for having reached the age limit. Both prelates concelebrated the solemn mass.

Bishop Martinelli, 64, a member of the Capuchin Friars Minor of the province of San Carlos in Lombardy, held the position of auxiliary bishop of Milan (Italy) for eight years. “The rulers, authorities and dignitaries of this country -he said- have all my respect for the work of promoting the spirit of coexistence and tolerance”. “God has called all human beings to live together as brothers and sisters, even if they belong to different cultures, peoples and religions.

“At the beginning of my role as pastor in this Vicariate – the prelate pointed out – I want to express my great desire to strengthen interreligious dialogue and to promote universal brotherhood according to the spirit of the document on brotherhood”. Religions, although different from each other, “can contribute significantly to societies around the world by promoting peace and love.”

A passage in his speech was dedicated to his predecessor Bishop Hinder, whom he thanked for his “sincere welcome” on his arrival in the land of Arabia. “I take this opportunity – he continued – to express my deep admiration for the wonderful work he has done and the wisdom he has shown during his ministry” in a reality of nearly two million faithful made up mostly of immigrants from India, the Philippines and other Asian countries.

The prelate then highlighted “the important work” carried out by “all the parishes” at a pastoral level, as well as “the valuable contributions of Catholic schools”, which constitute “a fundamental meeting point for all people and for all believers, especially for families”. In this reality made up of “riches” and critical and dramatic situations like that of Yemen, the document on fraternity is “fundamental”, of which “we have a duty to guard the memory”, deepening at the same time “its cultural, social and religious implications”.



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