Analysis: Cardinal Rai begins strategic call for Saudi religious freedom

By Andrea Gagliarducci | Catholic News Agency

Vatican City, Nov 28, 2017 / 08:00 pm (CNA).- The first cardinal to be officially invited to visit Saudi Arabia, Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai, Maronite Patriarch of Antioch, has begun a strategic call for religious tolerance among the Saudi Arabian royal family.

“I mentioned the importance of the [royal family’s] work for dialogue with the KAICIID, the center for interreligious dialogue based in Vienna. I told them that it was important to have such dialogue in Saudi Arabia, thus implying that they should open to further dialogue,” he told CNA.

Cardinal Rai was in Saudi Arabia Nov. 13-15, and met with Pope Francis Nov. 23 in a private audience to report about the visit.