Bernice King, the daughter of civil rights leaders the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, had her second face-to-face meeting this year with Pope Francis in Rome.
The CEO of the Atlanta-based King Center, was invited to Bologna, Italy to speak at a conference entitled “Bridges of Peace,” held this week and organized by the Community of St. Egidio.
The annual meeting includes religious leaders from all over the world who come together to discuss the need for peace and understanding among all nations and faith traditions.
While in Italy, King also attended a mass celebrated by Pope Francis at the St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, where she briefly spoke with him.
She told him she had been praying for him, as he had requested during a previous private meeting at the Vatican in March. The head of the Roman Catholic Church asked her to continue to do so.
During the March meeting she gave the pontiff four of her father’s books. He spoke of his admiration for her father.
In her speech to the “Bridges of Peace” conference, King said her hope is that “children of light from many different religions have come together here in Bologna to learn and understand each other and commit to be bridges of peace in the midst of a dark world of greed, selfishness, nationalism, racism, economic deprivation, poverty, violence, fear and war.”
She added that there is a “ poverty of spirit” that keeps people separated.
However, “humankind’s survival depends upon our ability to square our moral progress with our scientific progress and learn the practical art of living together as brothers and sisters in peace with justice.”
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