Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct 2, 2016 / 06:20 am
In a meeting with political leaders Sunday, Pope Francis praised the peaceful relationship among Catholics, Muslims, Orthodox, and Jews in Azerbaijan, criticizing those who use God as a defense in religiously-motivated violence.
In his Oct. 2 speech, Francis said that during his brief visit, he has been particularly pleased to see "the cordial relations enjoyed by the Catholic, Muslim, Orthodox and Jewish" communities.
"It is my hope that the signs of friendship and cooperation may continue to increase," he said, stressing that "the attachment to authentic religious values is utterly incompatible with the attempt to violently impose on others one's own vision, using God's holy name as 'armor.'"
Pope Francis met with the president of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev and his wife, as well as other authorities and members of the Diplomatic Corps, in the capital city of Baku Oct. 2, the last of this three-day visit to Georgia and Azerbaijan, both of which have a small minority Catholic presence.