(Courtesy of the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City) Cardinal Moran Mor Bechara Boutros al-Rahi
The 77-year-old Lebanese cleric is to meet with the Salt Lake Interfaith Council at 2:30 p.m. at the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City’s Pastoral Center, 27 C St.
Boutros al-Rahi was named patriarch of Antioch and head of the Maronite Catholics in March 2011. The following year, then-Pope Benedict XVI made him a cardinal.
A hallmark of Boutros al-Rahi’s ministry has been his commitment to enhancing relationships with Muslims aimed at building a cooperative, common future in his war-torn Middle Eastern nation.
In May 2014, he joined Pope Francis during the pontiff’s Holy Land pilgrimage, including a visit to Jerusalem and the West Bank. That, too, proved controversial for Boutros al-Rahi, since he was the first Lebanese religious leader to visit the modern state of Israel.
That long-running tradition, despite the current violence, “constitutes a sign of hope for a better future for the Middle East,” Boutros al-Rahi added.