Holy See Reaches Out in Friendship to Muslims

Sends Message on Occasion of Ramadan

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 14, 2005 (Zenit.org).- In a message sent on the occasion of Ramadan, the Holy See invited the world’s 1.2 billion Muslims to continue on «the path of dialogue.»

The letter invites Catholics and Muslims to strengthen their «engagement in building up good relations among people of different religions, to promote cultural dialogue and to work together for greater justice and enduring peace.»

As in previous years, the letter was signed by the president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, currently Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald.

The British prelate invited Christians and Muslims to «show that we can live together in true fraternity, striving always to do the will of the merciful God who created humanity to be one family.»

The text was written on the occasion of the feast of Id Al-Fitr, which is celebrated at the end of the month of Ramadan.

The archbishop referred to the good-will message sent to the Muslims in 1991, during the first Gulf War, signed by Pope John Paul II.

The message refers to the work of the Pope in promoting dialogue with Muslims, in keeping with the spirit of the Second Vatican Council’s declaration «Nostra Aetate.»

«It was faith in God and confidence in humanity that impelled the late Pope to engage in dialogue,» wrote the archbishop. «He constantly reached out to brothers and sisters of all religions with respect and a desire for collaboration, as had been encouraged.»

The letter also underlines the continued commitment of the pontificate of Benedict XVI toward interreligious dialogue.

The Pope said April 25: «I assure you that the Church wants to continue building bridges of friendship with followers of all religions, in order to seek the true good of every person and of society as a whole.»

Muslims constitute 19.6% of the world’s population.

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