A statement issued by the office of His Eminence (long may he live) regarding his meeting with the Grand Pontiff of the Vatican, the Pope
21 Rajab 1442

In the Name of Allah the Compassionate the Merciful

This morning, His Eminence Sayyid Al-Sistani (long may he live) met with the Grand Pontiff (Pope Francis), Pope of the Catholic Church and Head of State of the Vatican.

During the meeting, the discussion revolved around the enormous challenges facing humanity in this age and the role of faith in God Almighty and His messages, and commitment to high moral values in overcoming them.

His Eminence talked about the injustice, oppression, poverty, religious and intellectual persecution, suppression of basic freedoms and the absence of social justice endured in various countries of the world, especially the suffering of a number of nations in our region from wars, acts of violence, economic blockade, forced displacement and so on and in particulars the Palestinian people in the occupied territories.

His Eminence referred to the role that great religious and spiritual leaders should play in curbing these tragedies, and what is hoped from them in urging concerned parties – especially in the super powers - to give priority to reason and wisdom and to reject the language of war, and not to boost caring for their self-interests over the rights of peoples to live in freedom and dignity, and stressing the importance of concerted efforts to consolidate the values of harmony, peaceful coexistence and human solidarity in all societies, based on fostering rights and mutual respect among followers of different religions and intellectual trends.

His Eminence praised the status and glorious history of Iraq and the commendable acts of its people of various affiliations - expressing his hope that Iraq would overcome its current ordeal in not too long a while. He affirmed his dedication that Christian citizens should live like all Iraqis in peace and security and in full of their constitutional rights. He referred to part of the role the religious authority [Marja’iya] played in protecting them and the rest of those who had suffered injustice and harm in the incidents of past years, especially during the period when the terrorists seized vast areas in several Iraqi provinces, and perpetrated criminal acts there.

His Eminence wished the Supreme Pontiff, the followers of the Catholic Church, and all humanity good fortune and happiness, and thanked him for taking the trouble to travel to Najaf to make this visit.

21 Rajab 1442 (A.H.)
Bureau of Sayyid Al--Sistani (long may he live)
Holy city of Najaf
21 Rajab 1442