Anglican leaders in Arabian Gulf welcome Pope Francis’ visit to United Arab Emirates

February 6, 2019

[Anglican Communion News Service] This week’s historic visit to the United Arab Emirates by Pope Francis resulted in “extraordinary scenes,” said the Rev. Andrew Thompson, the senior Anglican chaplain in Abu Dhabi.

During his visit, Pope Francis celebrated Mass at the Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi. News reports cite a variety of numbers of those attending, varying from 130,000 to 180,000.

Thompson was one of those present. He told Anglican Communion News Service that Anglicans and Roman Catholics have, for decades, “literally been neighbors” in the UAE. “In every one of the emirates of the UAE, the Anglican churches lie literally in the shadow of the gigantic compounds which are the spiritual homes to thousands of Roman Catholics,” he said.

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