Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions For Immediate Release
70 E. Lake Street, Suite 205
Chicago, IL 60601
United States of America
Contact: Dr. Mary Nelson
Tel.: 312-629-2990 ext. 228
THE PARLIAMENT OF WORLD RELIGION’S WELCOMES POPE FRANCIS
Celebrating a Leader and Patron for Global Interreligious Relations
Chicago, IL – the world’s oldest and largest interfaith organization, the Parliament of the World’s Religions, is honored to congratulate newly-elected Pope Francis on his appointment to the Papacy.
The Parliament is thrilled that the new Pope has an esteemed reputation for engaging across religious lines for the betterment of humanity. These positive stories of Pope Francis’ practice of openness to neighborly relations signals significant progress to come for the global Interfaith movement.
“The Parliament celebrates the new Pope and his commitments to simple living, dealing with poverty, and carrying on St. Francis’ commitment to a healthier environment for all people,” says Executive Director Mary Nelson.
The Parliament of the World’s Religions also extends warmth to the people of Latin America and our Catholic friends. We cherish the Pope’s opportunity to advance relationships between the Global North and South which can be very fruitful for interreligious dialogue.
“The leadership qualities Pope Francis will bring to the world include his relentless concern for social justice,” says the board chair Imam Malik Mujahid. “It makes us hopeful from the perspective of Interfaith to see the respect the new Pope Francis has shown to other faiths.”
Since the historic 1893 World’s Parliament of Religions was held in Chicago, modern Parliaments have been held in Chicago (1993), Cape Town (1999), Barcelona (2004) and Melbourne (2009). The periodic Parliaments cultivate harmony among the world’s religious and spiritual communities and fosters engagement with the world and its guiding institutions in order to achieve a just, peaceful, and sustainable world.
It is anticipated that from 7000 – 9000 people from diverse religious, spiritual and convictional traditions will participate in the next Parliament, which will take place in 2015. Traditionally, the Parliament events last for 7 days and are comprised of more than 500 programs, workshops and dialogues, alongside music, dance, artistic exhibitions and related events hosted by religious communities and cultural institutions.