he King of Bahrain, His Majesty King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa, in a magnanimous gesture of goodwill to the Catholic community, has granted around 9,000 square metres of land in Awali, to build a new church.
The decision was officially conveyed to the Apostolic Vicar of Northern Arabia, His Lordship Bishop Camillo Ballin mccj, on February 11, 2013 (Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes).
The news was received with great joy and excitement by all the faithful in the Vicariate. The Bishop’s reaction on hearing the good news was to thank Our Blessed Mother for her miraculous intercession. The new Cathedral will be dedicated to Our Lady of Arabia. The Bishop said that this gesture of the King was a testament to the kingdom’s great religious and cultural openness and its example of religious tolerance should be upheld by the whole world.
Bishop Camillo personally conveyed his heartfelt gratitude to the King of Bahrain for his benevolence and thanked the government for its support. On his part, the King hailed the Bishop’s efforts to promote fraternity and better understanding between members of all faiths.
In a separate occasion, His Majesty the King’s wife and President of the Supreme Council for Women Princess Sabeeka bint Ebrahim Al Khalifa received His Lordship Bishop Camillo Ballin.
Bishop Camillo Ballin expressed his gratitude and appreciation to Princess Sabeeka, making special note of the Kingdom’s readiness to host the Bishopric headquarters in the Gulf and Bahrain’s efforts to maintain a culture of freedom of religion and respect for all religions.
May 19, 2014: The King of Bahrain gives the Pope a model of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Arabia
VIDEO CLIP FROM ROMEREPORTS.COM: Dressed in a white and beige cloak and with a sword tucked into his waistband, the King of Bahrain met with Pope Francis in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace. The Pope and King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, held a 27 minute meeting, where they talked about peace and stability in the Middle East and also the contribution of Christians in the country, which make up about 10 percent of the population. Learn more….