Vatican Official Notes Lesson to Learn From Muslims

Cardinal Tauran Promotes Dialogue in Indonesia

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JAKARTA, Indonesia, NOV. 27, 2009 ( Catholics can learn something from Muslims, the Vatican’s official for interreligious dialogue has affirmed during his visit to Indonesia.

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran said this Wednesday in reference to what he called the “very strong spirituality” of Muslims.

“They wake up early in the morning to pray,” he said, as reported by UCA News. “Our young priests should follow this example […] waking up early in the morning to pray to start their daily activities.” 

The cardinal is in Indonesia for a week-long trip that ends Tuesday, his first official visit to the nation. On Wednesday, he visited the national Istiqlal mosque, the largest in Southeast Asia.

“We, Catholics, must be witnesses to the surrounding communities. This is one of the meanings of interreligious dialogue. And to be witnesses, we need to have a deep spirituality,” he said at the Assumption Cathedral Church in Central Jakarta.

The president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue has met with Muslim leaders at the two largest Islamic organizations in Indonesia — Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah.

He has stressed Benedict XVI’s position that “dialogue is not optional but a necessity.”

The cardinal is also encouraging interreligious dialogue “based on tolerance, mutual respect and cooperation.”

Cardinal Tauran is accompanied by the apostolic nuncio to Indonesia, Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli, the president and secretary of the Indonesian episcopal conference, as well as bishops of Jakarta.

The secretary of the episcopal conference, Bishop Johannes Trilaksyanta Pujasumarta of Bandung, is a member of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

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