Pope's Visit to Bahrain to Include Mass at the Bahrain National Stadium, Meeting with the King and Sheikh of Al-Azhar
2022-10-12 - 3:12 p
Bahrain Mirror: The Vatican announced the official program for Pope Francis', who is to visit Bahrain for four days early next month.
The visit begins with the pope's plane landing at Sakhir Air Base on November 3 in the afternoon, and an official reception will await him there, after which he will be taken to meet with the King of Bahrain at Sakhir Palace. After the meeting, there will be a special ceremonial welcome held for him in Sakhir Palace Square.
After the welcoming ceremony, the Pope will hold a meeting with the authorities, civil society and the diplomatic corps. This will conclude the first day of his visit.
The guest will spend the night in a special residence set up within the palace grounds, named the Papal Residence.
On the second day, the Pope will attend in the morning the "Bahrain Forum for Dialogue: East and West for Human Coexistence", which will be held in Al-Fida Square in the Sakhir Palace complex. He will then hold a private meeting with the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayyeb, at the Papal Residence in the palace.
This is followed by a meeting the Pope will have with members of the "Muslim Council of Elders" at the Sakhir Palace Mosque. It is worth noting that this council was established by the United Arab Emirates in 2014. Its members consist of figures from the Sunni community headed by the Sheikh of Al-Azhar, and it has one Bahraini member who belongs to the ruling family, who is the deputy head of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs in Bahrain, Abdulrahman bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Khalifa.
The Pope will conclude his second day with an "ecumenical meeting and prayer for peace at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Arabia," a church that was built with Bahraini funds, officially opening last year (2021). The third day will be arranged by the Bahraini authorities to attract international media attention, as the Pope will hold mass at the Bahrain National Stadium, and it will certainly be open to Christian residents, and in the afternoon the guest will meet with the youth at the Sacred Heart School.
The last day of the visit will be on Sunday (November 6, 2022), on which the Pope will head to the Bahraini capital, Manama, to recite "the prayer of the Angelus with the bishops, priests, deacons, consecrated persons, seminarians and pastoral workers of the Sacred Heart Church in Manama," as per the program.
At noon, the farewell ceremony for the guest will be held at the Sakhir Air Base, where the Pope's plane will depart for Rome.