Pope to open 4 Corners festival with video message

Pope to open 4 Corners festival with video message

Pope Francis is set to open the 4 Corners Festival in Belfast January 30, with a pre-recorded personal video message.

According to a statement from the 4 Corners, the Pope says in the three-minute long video that “the extent that we open more horizons, the more the grace of God enters us, the more the Lord is revealed to us”.

He expresses how pleased he is to hear that we have “my brother, Justin Welby”, Archbishop of Canterbury, speaking at the festival and that everyone must come out of our own “corners” and walk together.

Pope Francis’ video will open the festival which runs from Sunday January 30 to February 6, closing with an address from the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby delivered in the St Peter’s Catholic cathedral.

The 4 Corners Festival is an inter-denominational event held annually in Belfast, aimed at promoting peace and unity in Northern Ireland. The theme for this year’s festival is ‘Common Ground, Common Good’.

One of the festivals directors, Dr Gladys Ganiel, said that the having the Pope’s message is “monumental”, adding that “we never expected that significant from the Pope.

“We’re really excited that he has this message for the festival and the people of Belfast,” Dr Ganiel told The Irish Catholic.

The Pope’s message will be broadcast from St Anne’s Cathedral, which in the 1980s was subjected to Paisleyite protests during the week for Christian Unity, when it held multi-denominational events.

“To have the Pope, in a way, speaking in St Anne’s is really significant. To mirror that, with the Archbishop of Canterbury speaking in St Peter’s, a Catholic cathedral, we’re really trying to embody what our forebears, the faith-based peace builders, were trying to demonstrate during the troubles,” Dr Ganiel said.