By Andrew Parrish
April 25th, 2017
With the Pope’s visit to Egypt looming large in the headlines, the UK Catholic Tablet has today published an article by Christopher Lamb comparing this trip to another, previous Francis’ visit to the Middle East. As documented in the Life of St. Francis, St. Francis of Assisi – the Pope’s namesake – undertook a journey to the court of the Sultan of Jerusalem, the most powerful Muslim leader of the time. Unfortunately the author of this piece subscribes to a fairly common misconception – that this early meeting between Catholicism and Islam represents a primitive example of the “ecumenical dialogue” approach which is common today. The text of the Life, however, indicates that this was not the sort of dialogue of which modern proponents would approve, and the differences in approach between St. Francis and Pope Francis are worthy of note.