Union of Islamic communities pleased with pope's words

'Beautiful' for interfaith relations, says Elizr

Union of Islamic communities pleased with pope's words

(see related) Rome, July 8 - Pope Francis delivered "beautiful words that have a very important meaning" during his visit to an historic migrant stop in southern Italy, a spokesman for Italy's Islamic communities said Monday. Ezzildin Elzir, president of the Union of Islamic Communities in Italy, said he hoped that the pope's comments reaching out to the Islamic community at the opening of the holy month of Ramadan means continued interfaith dialogue. Earlier in the day Francis saluted Muslim immigrants during a visit to the southern Italian island of Lampedusa, a stepping stone to Europe. The pope chose Lampedusa, closer to Africa than Italy, as his first trip as pontiff to focus attention on the many asylum seekers who die trying to cross the Mediterranean. "To the dear, Muslim immigrants who today, this evening, are beginning the fast of Ramadan, with wishes for abundant spiritual fruit," Francis said. "The Church is close to you in the search for a more dignified life for you and your families".

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