Rabat, Morocco — Pope Francis landed in Morocco Saturday for a trip aimed at highlighting the North African nation’s Christian-Muslim ties, while also showing solidarity with migrants at Europe’s door and tending to a tiny Catholic flock.
“Dear Moroccan friends, I am coming as a pilgrim of peace and fraternity,” Francis wrote Friday on Twitter. “We Christians and Muslims believe in God, the Creator and the Merciful, who created people to live like brothers and sisters, respecting each other in their diversity, and helping one another in their needs.”
The highlight of the trip is likely to be Francis’ visit Saturday to the Mohammed VI Institute, a school of learning for imams that epitomizes Morocco’s efforts to promote a moderate brand of Islam and export it via preachers to Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
Francis will also visit a migrant center run by the Caritas charity organization and will wrap up his trip Sunday with a Mass and a meeting with Moroccan clergy.