Pope heading to Dubai for COP28 climate summit

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The Holy See’s Press Office has confirmed that Pope Francis will make an Apostolic Visit to Dubai for the COP28 climate summit.

“Accepting the invitation of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates,” the Director, Matteo Bruni, noted in a statement. “His Holiness Pope Francis will make the previously announced trip to Dubai from 1 to 3 December 2023, on the occasion of the upcoming Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28).”

In a recent interview with Italian television, the Holy Father had said he would be traveling to the Emirates for the occasion.

This marks the first time a Pope has attended the UN climate summit.

Second visit to the Emirates

The early December visit will mark Pope Francis’ second visit to the United Arab Emirates, after his first Apostolic Journey to the Muslim-majority nation’s capital of Abu Dhabi in February 2019.

Pope Francis had been the first Pope to ever visit the Arabian Peninsula, and the first to celebrate Mass for the Gulf nation’s Catholic community, composed primarily of immigrants.

During that visit, the Holy Father signed the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together at an interfaith summit, along with the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Al Tayyeb, which would inspire the foundations for the Pope’s subsequent encyclical on human fraternity, Fratelli Tutti, in 2020.

Appealing to protect Creation

Pope Francis, who chose his name after St. Francis of Assisi, has, since the start of his papacy, drawn attention to the need to protect our Common Home.

This dedication led him to write his 2015 landmark encyclical on the environment, Laudato si, and his subsequent Apostolic Exhortation which built on the encyclical, Laudate Deum, which was published recently, on 4 October 2023, the Feast Day of St. Francis.

In the recent Exhortation, addressed to all people of good will on the climate crisis, the Pope warns that we are at “a breaking point,” and that action must be taken before it is too late, to protect future generations.

Source: Vatican News