Delegation, Led by Grand Mufti Mustafa Hadzhi, Meets with Pope Francis in Vatican

Bulgaria’s Grand Mufti Dr. Mustafa Hadzhi and a delegation led by him met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Saturday, the Grand Mufti’s Office reported Sunday.

During the audience, the Grand Mufti and the head of the Roman Catholic Church discussed issues related to inter-religious dialogue, world peace, humanitarian issues, and the challenges religious institutions face in reaching out to the faithful, the press release said. The possibility of a visit to the Holy See was discussed during Pope Francis’ visit to Bulgaria in 2019.

The delegation included Bulgaria’s Ambassador to Vatican City Bogdan Patashev, the Grand Mufti’s Secretary General, Dzhelal Faik, Deputy Grand Mufti Beyhan Mehmed, Father Peter Garena, Kardzhali Mayor Hasan Azis, among others.

Pope Francis thanked the Grand Mufti for his participation in the common prayer for peace held in Sofia in 2019 and for the warm welcome he received in Bulgaria during his visit to the country, the Grand Mufti’s Office said.

Dr Mustafa Hadzhi presented Pope Francis with a painting by the great Bulgarian artist Zlatyu Boyadzhiev. The canvas depicts the Dzhumaya Mosque and Imaret Mosque in Plovdiv during Eid.

A day before the meeting with the head of the Roman Catholic Church, the delegation, led by the chief mufti, met with the President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Cardinal Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot. The guests from Bulgaria also visited the relics of St. Cyril in the Basilica of San Clemente, the press release said.

The Holy See’s press office also reported the Grand Mufti’s and his delegation’s visit and meeting with Pope Francis.