Pope Francis Winds Up Trip To Egypt

"With the assurance of my prayers, I invoke upon the nation the divine blessings of peace and joy".

On Saturday, Francis also repeated his claim that some migrant holding centers in Europe amount to "concentration camps", even after Jewish groups proposed he stop using the term.

At Saturday's Mass, a deacon sang the gospel in Arabic in a chant that was both melodic and nearly haunting.

Everything related to the Pope's visit to Egypt faced a lot of criticism. She said his visit to Egypt was more important because of recent attacks on churches in Egypt.

"It's beyond any words I can express", said Angela Ornagy, 58 and a teacher, as she sat in the stands waiting for the pontiff to arrive.

Helicopter gunships circled the perimeter of the stadium and armoured military vehicles patrolled the streets of the Egyptian capital on Saturday. He began his video message to Egyptians with "Alsalamo Alekom", which is the greetings of Muslims and it means "Peace be upon you" and ended it with "Tahya Masr, which means "Long Live Egypt".

Earlier in the day, Pope Francis, during his homily, had prayed for the "courage of forgiveness and the courage of helping those who fall".

"True faith leads us to protect the rights of others with the same zeal and enthusiasm with which we defend our own", he said in the speech translated into Arabic.

In a more intimate setting than his earlier Mass, Francis urged gathered priests, nuns and worshippers to be the religious builders of peace in Egypt, saying that despite "difficult circumstances, you must endure". "We had no children", Elbeden said.

During an interview aired on DMC TV channel, Rashed said more than 120 Arab and worldwide satellite TV channels were covering the the Pope's visit as well as his meeting with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

His two-day visit takes place less than three weeks after Islamic State suicide bombers shattered two churches in the cities of Tanta and Alexandria, killing more than 40 people. Cellphones were not allowed inside.

Ties with the center were restored a year ago after Tayeb visited the Vatican.

Asked what he would say to leaders, considering the fear surrounding the possibility of nuclear attack from North Korea, the Pope said that he would call on them to resolve problems "along the path of diplomacy", like he has called on leaders to resolve a variety of problems. The pope's visit came to defy this twisted logic.

"We need to learn and we need to move forward", Nermine said in an interview Friday.

"But I would say, Mr President, please see to it there is no war, because my region will suffer immensely". Some tooted horns and beat on drums, while others released yellow, white and blue balloons, including one in the shape of a cross.

Onlookers cheered him wildly, waving Holy See and Egyptian flags and swaying to the music of hymns.

"God is pleased only by a faith that is proclaimed by our lives, for the only fanaticism believers can have is that of charity!".

"Any other type of fanaticism does not come from God, and is not pleasing to him", he said.

Egypt's Coptic Catholics number around 272,000, are made up of seven different branches and, as the pope explained, comprise "small flock" in comparison to the 9 million-strong Christian population largely made up of Coptic Orthodox, a community that dates back to biblical times.

Hosting the pope, he told Francis, "is a declaration to the world of the strength of our national unity". "And it also means being prepared for military operations if necessary", he said.

Heavy security surrounded Francis as he entered Cairo's Air Defense Stadium in an open golf cart.

"It's not just a slogan: We really felt it", said Afaf Boctor, 50, a Catholic who traveled 75 miles to attend.

  • Leroy Wright