Pope Francis’ kiss with the Grand Imam of al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayab, Its lesson to humanity and all religion I by Stephen W. Boniface

It is Pope Francis's seventh visit to a predominantly Muslim country, signaling a continuation of improving ties between the Vatican and the Islamic world. The Pope has sought to build bridges with the Muslim world by refusing to equate Islam with violence, arguing that all religions have fundamentalist elements and religious leaders must work together to combat all forms of fundamentalism and violence.
                               Pope Francis 1 and the Grand Imam

The Pope and Grand Imam kissed.
Kissing is a cross-cultural foundation of relationships and has been throughout the ages. It’s a fundamental expression of desire, intimacy, adoration and passion for one’s partner, mother, father, friend, wife, etc.

Yes, to the green minded person, it may be an erotic sign. To the gay community, it may be that they are gays. To the protestant, it may be that the Catholic Church and Islam has something in common. But whichever way one interprets it, it teaches a very important lesson.

In the Catholic tradition, the Kiss of Peace is an ancient traditional greeting, sometimes also called ‘holy kiss’, ‘brother kiss’ (among men), or ‘sister kiss’ (among women). Such greeting signifies a wish and blessing that peace be to the recipient. 

                                               Pope Francis 1

Peace: The Pope is calling for a peaceful coexistence between the two religion. Kissing each other is a big sign of tolerance. We all are humans created by one supreme being (God). By exchanging saliva(water), they both leave a lesson to their subject that we are made to live in peace because the same water which give a Christian life also gives a Muslim life.

As a sign of Adoration, Grand Imam of al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayab, and Pope Francis 1 showed to themselves a strong feeling of love and admiration. Through their gesture, all Muslim and Christian should learn how to admire each other and show feelings of love to each other. For we are all humans made by the same God. We should treat each other with adoration, greet each other with adoration, regardless of your status.

Kiss signifies Admiration. This act of love is a clarion call on each and every individual and religion to admire each other. Admire your fellow human being. At same time calling on racial extinction. We all citizens of the world. The world is living place allocated to us by God, so discrimination and racism is a vice to everyone.

                  Three of the Religious Leaders exchanging greeting in UAE

Respect is a positive feeling or action shown towards someone or something considered important, or held in high esteem or regard; it conveys a sense of admiration for good or valuable qualities; and it is also the process of honoring someone by exhibiting care, concern, or consideration for their needs or feelings. Depending on the culture and context, a kiss can express sentiments of Respect. By kissing each other, we show respect to humanity.

Religious tolerance: just imagine the hug, the head on each other’s shoulder the chest that embraces and the lips that joined each other. Tolerance is the willingness to accept feelings, habits or beliefs that are difference from your own. The Pope and Imam are calling on their subjects to be willing always to accept and embrace each other’s religious believe, and kick against violence and extremism. It means that we should have sympathy or indulgence for beliefs and practices differing form or conflicting with our own. It means allowing each other to exist peacefully (live and let live).

The UAE has dubbed 2019 its "year of tolerance", "I look forward to societies where people of different beliefs have the same right of citizenship and where only in the case of violence in any of its forms is that right removed," The Pope said. If the Two major religious leaders can come together to embrace and have a kiss of love, it shows a big example and have a big lesson to derive from their actions. I therefore urge everyone to say no to religious violence and allow each other to exist in these sinful world where no one is show of his or her destination tomorrow.

By Stephen Wise Boniface.
Professional life coach/Author/Speaker/Leadership mentor.

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