Islamic-Catholic Panel Reaches 5 Conclusions

Agree That Muslims, Christians Share Duty of Compassion

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 16, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Christians and Muslims alike believe that it is their duty to show compassion toward every human being, given that God is compassionate, concluded the Islamic-Catholic Liaison Committee.

This was one of five conclusions from the 14th meeting of the committee, which was held in the Vatican last Wednesday through Friday.

The Catholic delegation was headed by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, while the Islamic delegation was headed by Professor Hamid bin Ahmad Al-Rifaie, president of the International Islamic Forum for Dialogue, of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The pontifical council released a statement Sunday about the meeting, which had the theme “Christians and Muslims as Witnesses of the God of Justice, of Peace and of Compassion in a World Suffering From Violence.”

The Vatican statement reported, “The topic was treated from a religious point of view according to the teaching of our two religious traditions.”

The committee agreed on five points, the first being that “from the inherent dignity of each human being stem fundamental rights and duties.”

They added: “Justice is a priority in our world. It requires, beyond the implementation of the existing legal provisions, the respect of the fundamental needs of individuals and peoples through an attitude of love, fraternity and solidarity. There can be no true and lasting peace without justice.

“Peace is a gift from God and also requires the commitment of all human beings, and particularly believers, who are called to be vigilant witnesses to peace in a world afflicted by violence in many forms.

“Christians and Muslims believe that God is compassionate and therefore they consider it their duty to show compassion towards every human person, especially the needy and the weak.”

Finally, the committee affirmed that religions, “if authentically practiced, effectively contribute in promoting brotherhood and harmony in the human family.”

The Vatican communiqué concluded by explaining that Benedict XVI received the participants in audience. He “encouraged them to continue their endeavors for the promotion of justice and peace.”

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