Pope Francis and Grand Ayatollah Sistani call for unity at Iraq meeting

Pope Francis and Grand Ayatollah Sistani call for unity at Iraq meetingMarch 6, 2021

Catholic and Shia leaders strengthen dialogue between their faiths on first ever papal visit to the country

Two of the most influential faith leaders in the world reached across a religious divide on Saturday to promote peace and unity in a historic meeting.

Pope Francis, 84, the head of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, and Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, 90, the spiritual leader of most of the world’s Shia Muslims, talked for almost an hour during the first ever papal visit to Iraq, the pontiff’s first trip abroad since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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