Pope Francis Impresses Gulf Catholic Community with Big Mass

Awali, Bahrain, November 5 (Reuters) – Pope Francis celebrates Mass for thousands of Catholics in Bahrain on Saturday to impress members of a small foreign Catholic community in the Gulf and to show kindness to the host, even if they sometimes feel urged The crowd of around 30,000 who filled the Bahrain National Stadium was the second-largest papal mass in the Arabian Peninsula, after a papal Mass in the UAE that drew more than 100,000 in 2019. “It’s a miracle,” said Bahraini’s. Mary Grace Fortes, 36, a Filipino who works at a hotel reception, said. “It’s very important to us.” Like many Filipino women working abroad, Fortes gets married and sends money to her home to support her family, including her husband and 16-year-old son. Hundreds of Catholic foreign workers traveled by bus. The 25 km (16 mile) long King Fahd Causeway connecting Bahrain and Saudi Arabia has no church and is not open to Catholics to worship. She works as a medical device company manager in Kerala, India and Saudi Arabia. Chazoor’s 75-year-old mother was too emotional to answer reporters’ questions. She is waving the yellow and white Vatican flag. “She’s so excited she can’t speak.” She said she drove regularly in Saudi Arabia with her mother to attend mass at one of two churches in Bahrain, driving through causeways. There are 160,000 Catholics in Bahrain. Francis seemed to be praising Bahrain’s relatively open policy toward non-Muslims in his family home.[1/5] Pope Francis welcomes people to Mass at the National Stadium in Bahrain during his apostolic tour in Lipa, Bahrain on November 5, 2022. The image of our world, which is increasingly marked by the constant migration of people and pluralistic ideas, customs and traditions,” he said. Many foreign workers from Asia provide the backbone of the Gulf economy, working in sectors such as construction, hospitality, and hospitality. Transport, oil and gas sector The International Labor Organization says migrant workers in the Gulf have long been faced with problems such as exploitation by recruitment agencies and employers, poor working conditions, limited access to justice and limited freedom of association .Francis urged: His listeners, who are kind to the indigenous peoples of the Gulf, who do not treat them well, say this is at the heart of the gospel message to love our enemies. Breaking the vortex, disarming violence, and demilitarizing the mind.” From the podium at the Mass Altar, the speaker said, “Blessings of the Pope, Blessings of royalty. “During the Mass, the prayers of the faithful were read in the languages ​​spoken by foreign workers, including Tagalog, Swahili, Malayalam, Tamil and Konkani. The Mass was attended by one of the sons of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and several government ministers. .Additional Reports by Ghaida Ghantous from Dubai; Edited by Michael Perry and Mark PotterOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principle.
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