Morocco - Monsignor Cristóbal Lopez, SDB: "We await the Holy Father as the servant of hope"

20 February 2019

(ANS - Rabat) - Mgr Cristóbal López, archbishop of Rabat, Morocco, expresses in an interview his joy for the visit of Pope Francis to the country, scheduled for 30 – 31 March 2019.

How are Christian citizens waiting for this visit?

With great joy, with hope and enthusiasm. We all believe that it will be a great event for our Church in Morocco.

And in the Muslim population, or in any case non-Christian, are there great expectations?

It is still too early for the population to understand the news and become aware of what the Pope's visit means. In the month of March, the media will help many people to discover and interest them to the meaning of this visit. Those who are aware of this await this visit with interest and a certain curiosity. 

Will there be any emblematic sites the Pope shall visit?

Yes, many. The Pope will go to the site of the diocesan Caritas of Rabat to meet the migrants. He will also visit a social center run by the Daughters of Charity, on the outskirts of Rabat: every day they treat about 10 to 15 children, burn victims; another 80 are being offered school reinforcement; 50 children spend the day in kindergarten and, in the meantime, they work with the mothers in social promotion. The visit to the "Mohamed VI Institute for the formation of the Imams, preachers" will be very significant, as will the meeting with His Majesty the King and the Moroccan people on the esplanade of the Hassan Mosque and the corresponding visit to the Mausoleum where the grandfather, father and uncle of the current monarch are buried. The meeting with the clergy, religious life and Christian confessions, as well as the Eucharist, will be no less important, but they are common to most of the Pope's journeys.

In your opinion, what will be the central message the Holy Father will leave to the Moroccan people?

He will certainly bring us the message of Jesus, the Gospel ... He will certainly say it with words suitable for this land and the historical moment in which we live. We expect him as a "servant of hope" and we believe that he will help us not only to confirm our faith, but also to reaffirm our hope in a world in which we can all consider ourselves - and live - as brothers and sisters.

And what do you expect as fruits of this visit?

A faith confirmed, an increased hope and a love that knows how to open one's heart. Outside, in the country and in the world, greater visibility of an insignificant but meaningful Church. I hope that the Pope will give impulse to the journey that this Church in Morocco has been making for decades.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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