The Pope and the Ayatollah: Why the Francis-Sistani summit is a major interfaith breakthrough

Editor’s note: This article is part of our special coverage of Pope Francis’ visit to Iraq. The rest of our coverage can be accessed on this regularly updated portal. Baghdad, Iraq – In a meticulously planned private meeting, head of the Catholic Church Pope Francis and Iraq’s highest Shia authority, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, will make history when they sit down together on Saturday in the cleric’s modest home in Najaf. The historic encounter has been hailed by Iraqi President Barham Salih as a “a deep religious expression of moderation,” with the symbolic power of the 40-minute dialogu…

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