The Vatican Press has confirmed Pope Francis’ visit to Morocco from 30th -31st March 2019.
During his two-day visit he will engage in interreligious dialogue and address the country’s bishops. The visit also includes a visit to a migrant centre, run by the Charity Caritas, and a social centre run by the Daughters of Charity. It is said that Pope Francis will meet with King Mohamed VI, the King of Morocco and also visit the Mohammed VI Institute, which oversees the training and formation of Imams, to serve the local Muslim community.
The visit in March 2019 coincides with the SECAM Golden Jubilee reflection for the month of March on Refugees, Migrants and Displaced Persons; reminding all to be attentive to migrants and foreigners, as well as to orphans and widows.
Morocco is a crucial point for illegal sub-Saharan migrants from Africa to Europe because of its position on the map linking it to Europe.
SECAM has been involved in a number of activities relating to migration on that part of the continent.
According to Archbishop Cristòbal Lòpez of Rabat, the Pope represents a ‘Servant of Hope’ to fill all persons in Morocco with hope, to give them encouragement, instil enthusiasm; and announce the Gospel to them.
Pope Francis will be the second Pope to travel to Morocco, after Pope John Paul II in 1985.
With a population of about 37 million, more than 99 percent of the Moroccan people are Muslim, with Christians, and other religions making up the rest of the population.
The decision of Pope Francis to visit the country was in response to an invitation extended by King Mohammed VI and the Catholic Bishops of Morocco.