“I am asking you as a brother to stay in peace. I am asking you with my heart, let us go forward. “There will be many problems but they will not overcome us. Resolve your problems,” Francis said in improvised remarks. The leaders appeared to be stunned as the 82-year-old pope, helped by aides, knelt with difficulty to kiss the shoes of the two main opposing leaders and several other people in the room.
Pope Francis has addressed the mystery of why he withdrew his hand from worshippers' kisses, explaining it was a "simple question of hygiene". Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti said the Pope was worried about germs when meeting Catholics last Wednesday. An extended version of the footage that swept social media shows Pope Francis allowing dozens of well-wishers to bow down and kiss his hand without protest.
Pope Francis will arrive in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) later on Sunday, becoming the first pontiff to visit the Arabian peninsula. BBC reported the Pope has been invited by Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan to take part in an interfaith conference He will hold a Mass on Tuesday that is expected to draw 120,000 people.
Pope Francis has said that homosexuality in the clergy is a "serious matter" that "worries" him.