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KUWAIT CITY, March 18: The Vatican’s Ambassador to Kuwait, Bishop Eugene Nugent, praised the Kuwaiti leadership’s support for the Catholic Church, and hoped at the same time that “we will have more places of worship to meet the needs of about 300,000 Catholics, especially in the two areas of Salmiya and Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh, reports Al-Jarida daily. Bishop Eugene was speaking on the occasion of the Vatican Embassy’s celebration of the tenth anniversary of the election of Pope Francis, in the presence of the Deputy Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for European Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Minister Plenipotentiary Muhammad Hayati, and a large crowd of ambassadors and members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the country and an elite group of Christian and Islamic clergy.
The Vatican ambassador affirmed that Kuwait and the Holy See enjoy excellent relations in the political, religious and social fields. He said, “Our countries have cooperated together in building peace, and in the fields of education, the environment and social affairs,” wishing to “strengthen more of these bonds of cooperation and friendship during the remainder of his stay in this beautiful country, especially in the areas of interfaith dialogue and social coexistence.”
The Vatican ambassador wished Pope Francis and His Highness the Amir, Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad, “good health and wellness, so that they can continue to perform good deeds for the benefit of all mankind, and peace and prosperity for Kuwait and its people.”
Nugent praised the support of the Kuwaiti leadership, HH the Amir, government and people for the Catholic Church, adding: “I also express my appreciation for the way in which Muslims, Christians and followers of other religions can pray and worship in Kuwait.” He added, “We are grateful for the places of worship that are here, and we hope that one day we will have more to meet the spiritual needs of the 300,000 Catholic community, especially in the areas of Salmiya and Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh, where there are large Catholic communities, but there are no suitable churches, where Catholics gather since years of praying in crowded catacombs, which is dangerous, and completely inconsistent with health and safety regulations. He continued, “We have a firm conviction that all places of worship should be considered a contribution to peace and social coexistence, especially since it is precisely in these holy places that people find inner peace with God Almighty, and with their neighbors.”