King Mohammed VI Congratulates Pope Francis on 6th Year of Pontificate


Rabat – On the 6th anniversary of Pope Francis’ election, King Mohammed VI sent a congratulatory message. The letter, published by Maghreb Arab Press (MAP), includes the King’s wishes for “good health, happiness and greater success in his noble mission to spread human values.”

The King continued the letter by reaffirming the privileged relations, strong friendship, and mutual esteem between Morocco and the Vatican City. He also expressed his determination to continue working with Pope Francis in efforts to uphold “noble religious and spiritual values shared by humanity, values that promote peace, tolerance and coexistence and reject all forms of ignorance, hate and extremism.”

Pope Francis will visit Morocco March 30-31 and will celebrate mass in Rabat. During the pope’s time in Rabat, the King will welcome him at the Royal Palace. Pope Francis will also visit the Caritas social center and see the Mohammed VI Institute for the training of imams. On Sunday, the pope will host a mass at the Moulay Abdellah Sports Stadium.

In his letter, the King mentioned the pope’s upcoming visit to Morocco and expressed hope that it would be an opportunity to exchange views, consolidate communication, promote interfaith understanding, and create intercultural dialogue.

Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected to the papacy March 13, 2013, following the resignation of the previous pope, Pope Benedict XVI. Now 82 years old, Pope Francis is the first pope from the Americas, the first Jesuit pope, and the first pope to adopt the name of Saint Francis of Assisi.