3 Issues Tackled at Muslim-Catholic Conference

Meeting in Vatican Gathers Members of Forum for Third Round of Talks

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Muslims and Catholics have come together and acknowledged many examples across the world of active Catholic-Muslim collaboration in charitable, educational and relief efforts.

This was a key outcome of the third seminar of the Catholic-Muslim Forum, which concluded today in Rome, on the theme “Working Together to Serve Others.»

At the conference, three specific issues were considered: working together to serve young people, enhancing interreligious dialogue, and service to society.

Since Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of Jordan, expected to lead the Muslim delegation, couldn’t attend the event for health reasons, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, professor of Islamic Studies at the George Washington University led the Muslim delegation instead. Those gathered in Rome sent the sick prince a message expressing their good wishes.

Meanwhile, the Catholic delegation was still headed by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

Following the presentations of the papers and the discussions, the participants agreed on various points.

First, the delegates recognized that their gathering took place in a time of severe tension and conflict in the world, underlining the vital importance of enhanced service and mutual cooperation.

In this context, the delegates unanimously condemned acts of terrorism, oppression, and violence against innocent persons, persecution, desecration of sacred places, and the destruction of cultural heritage.

It is never acceptable to use religion to justify such acts or to conflate such acts with religion, they stressed.

Secondly, they agreed that the education of young people, be it in the family, school, university, church or mosque, is of the utmost importance for the promotion of a well-rounded identity which builds respect for others. 

To this end, they noted that school curriculums and textbooks should portray an objective and respectful image of the other.

Thirdly, the participants affirmed the importance of the culture of interreligious dialogue for deepening mutual understanding. This is required to overcome prejudice, distortions, suspicions, and inappropriate generalizations, all of which damage the peaceful relationships we all seek.

The fourth point of agreement was their common feeling that dialogue should lead to action, particularly among young people. The participants encouraged Christians and Muslims to multiply opportunities for encounter and cooperation on joint projects for the common good.

On Wednesday, Nov. 12, Pope Francis received the participants in audience, encouraging them to persevere on the path of Christian-Muslim dialogue, and he expressed his approval of their shared commitment to the selfless service of society.

Finally, the delegates expressed their satisfaction at this fruitful encounter and their hopes for the next meeting of the forum.


On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full Statement of Third Meeting of Catholic-Muslim Forum: 


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