“We are all citizens of Jerusalem,” affirmed Pope Francis, during the return flight from Rabat to Rome, on March 31, 2019. This is how he explained the appeal he signed the previous day with the King of Morocco, Mohammed VI, to defend “the specific multi-religious character, the spiritual dimension and the particular cultural identity” of the Holy City.
“The dialogue can’t be of a laboratory; it must be human, said once again the Holy Father, responding to a journalist’s question. “And if it’s human, it’s with the head, the heart, and the hands. And so one effects pacts.” He then greeted the joint appeal on Jerusalem as “a step forward.”
“An authority of Morocco and an authority of the Vatican did not make this appeal.” It was made “by believing brothers that suffer, seeing that this city of hope is not as universal as we would all like it to be. Jews, Muslims and Christians, we all want that.” In fact, Jerusalem symbolizes “religious fraternity.” “We are all — all believers — citizens of Jerusalem.”
In the joint text, the Pontiff and the Sovereign request that “full freedom of access be guaranteed to all faithful of the three monotheist religions, and the right of each to engage in his own worship there.”