Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By

11/7/2008 (6 years ago)

Asia News (www.asianews.it/)

The document that concludes the first forum organized by the pontifical council for interreligious dialogue and by representatives of 138 Muslim scholars, authors of the letter entitled 'A Common Word.'

Highlights

By

Asia News (www.asianews.it/)

11/7/2008 (6 years ago)

Published in Europe


VATICAN CITY (AsiaNews) - An important and demanding declaration was published today by the Vatican and by representatives of the 138 Muslim scholars who wrote the well-known letter to the pope and other Christian leaders. Among other things, it affirms respect for life and for the dignity of each person, man or woman, which involves, among other things, respect for freedom of conscience and religion; the rejection of discrimination on account of faith; the importance of bearing witness through prayer to the transcendent dimension of life in an increasingly secularized world; an affirmation of the duty to give young people a solid moral, civil, and religious education, and teach them about the faith of others. The declaration also speaks of the possibility of creating a permanent mixed committee, and announces a second forum to be held within two years, in a Muslim majority country.

Here is the text of the declaration:

The Catholic-Muslim Forum was formed by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and a delegation of the 138 Muslim signatories of the open letter called A Common Word, in the light of the same document and the response of His Holiness Benedict XVI through his Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. Its first Seminar was held in Rome from 4-6 November 2008. Twenty-four participants and five advisors from each religion took part in the meeting. The theme of the Seminar was "Love of God, Love of Neighbour".

The discussion, conducted in a warm and convivial spirit, focused on two great themes: "Theological and Spiritual Foundations" and "Human Dignity and Mutual Respect". Points of similarity and of diversity emerged, reflecting the distinctive specific genius of the two religions.

1. For Christians the source and example of love of God and neighbour is the love of Christ for his Father, for humanity and for each person. "God is Love" (1 Jn 4, 16) and “God so loved the world that He gave his only Son so that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (Jn 3,16). God’s love is placed in the human heart through the Holy Spirit. It is God who first loves us thereby enabling us to love Him in return. Love does not harm one's neighbour but rather seeks to do to the other what one would want done to oneself (Cf. 1 Cor 13, 4-7). Love is the foundation and sum of all the commandments (Cf. Gal 5, 14). Love of neighbour cannot be separated from love of God, because it is an expression of our love for God. This is the new commandment, "Love one another as I have loved you." (Jn 15, 12) Grounded in Christ’s sacrificial love, Christian love is forgiving and excludes no one; it therefore also includes one's enemies. It should be not just words but deeds (Cf. 1 Jn, 4, 18). This is the sign of its genuineness.

For Muslims, as set out in A Common Word, love is a timeless transcendent power which guides and transforms human mutual regard. This love, as indicated by the Holy and Beloved Prophet Muhammad, is prior to the human love for the One True God. A Hadith indicates that God’s loving compassion for humanity is even greater than that of a mother for her child (Muslim, Bab al-Tawba: 21); it therefore exists before and independently of the human response to the One who is ‘The Loving’. So immense is this love and compassion that God has intervened to guide and save humanity in a perfect way many times and in many places, by sending prophets and scriptures. The last of these books, the Qur’an, portrays a world of signs, a marvellous cosmos of Divine artistry, which calls forth our utter love and devotion, so that ‘those who have faith, have most love of God’ (2:165), and ‘those that believe, and do good works, the Merciful shall engender love among them.’ (19:96) In a Hadith we read that ‘Not one of you has faith until he loves for his neighbour what he loves for himself’ (Bukhari, Bab al-Iman: 13).

2. Human life is a most precious gift of God to each person. It should therefore be preserved and honoured in all its stages.

3. Human dignity is derived from the fact that every human person is created by a loving God out of love, and has been endowed with the gifts of reason and free will, and therefore enabled to love God and others. On the firm basis of these principles, the person requires the respect of his or her original dignity and his or her human vocation. Therefore, he or she is entitled to full recognition of his or her identity and freedom by individuals, communities and governments, supported by civil legislation that assures equal rights and full citizenship.

4. We affirm that God’s creation of humanity has two great aspects: the male and the female human person, and we commit ourselves jointly to ensuring that human dignity and respect are extended on an equal basis to both men and women.

5. Genuine love of neighbour implies respect of the person and her or his choices in matters of conscience and religion. It includes the right of individuals and communities to practice their religion in private and public.

6. Religious minorities are entitled to be respected in their own religious convictions and practices. They are also entitled to their own places of worship, and their founding figures and symbols they consider sacred should not be subject to any form of mockery or ridicule.

7. As Catholic and Muslim believers, we are aware of the summons and imperative to bear witness to the transcendent dimension of life, through a spirituality nourished by prayer, in a world which is becoming more and more secularized and materialistic.

8. We affirm that no religion and its followers should be excluded from society. Each should be able to make its indispensable contribution to the good of society, especially in service to the most needy.

9. We recognize that God’s creation in its plurality of cultures, civilizations, languages and peoples is a source of richness and should therefore never become a cause of tension and conflict.

10. We are convinced that Catholics and Muslims have the duty to provide a sound education in human, civic, religious and moral values for their respective members and to promote accurate information about each other’s religions.

11. We profess that Catholics and Muslims are called to be instruments of love and harmony among believers, and for humanity as a whole, renouncing any oppression, aggressive violence and terrorism, especially that committed in the name of religion, and upholding the principle of justice for all.

12. We call upon believers to work for an ethical financial system in which the regulatory mechanisms consider the situation of the poor and disadvantaged, both as individuals, and as indebted nations. We call upon the privileged of the world to consider the plight of those afflicted most severely by the current crisis in food production and distribution, and ask religious believers of all denominations and all people of good will to work together to alleviate the suffering of the hungry, and to eliminate its causes.

13. Young people are the future of religious communities and of societies as a whole. Increasingly, they will be living in multicultural and multireligious societies. It is essential that they be well formed in their own religious traditions and well informed about other cultures and religions.

14. We have agreed to explore the possibility of establishing a permanent Catholic-Muslim committee to coordinate responses to conflicts and other emergency situations and of organizing a second seminar in a Muslim-majority country yet to be determined.

15. We look forward to the second Seminar of the Catholic-Muslim Forum to be convened in approximately two years in a Muslim-majority country yet to be determined.

All participants felt gratitude to God for the gift of their time together and for an enriching exchange.

At the end of the Seminar His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI received the participants and, following addresses by Professor Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr and H.E. Grand Mufti Dr. Mustafa Ceriƒ, spoke to the group. All present expressed satisfaction with the results of the Seminar and their expectation for further productive dialogue.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Europe

Terrorist attack plans AGAINST THE VATICAN unveiled during police raids in Italy Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An al-Qaeda-linked terror cell, who once had direct contact with Osama bin Laden and planned an attack on the Vatican, has been uncovered and broken up during raids by the Italian police this week. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The group in question is believed ... continue reading


North African immigrants flooding Italy - as many as 200,000 could be there in a year Watch

Image of Arrivals of migrants usually spike in the spring and summer months due to more inclement weather in the Mediterranean.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Italy has become a gateway for many African and Middle Easterners fleeing their war-torn lands for peace and prosperity. It is estimated that as many as 5,000 migrants a week arrive in Italy by sea from North African ports. This is leading to a crisis, with ... continue reading


Pope urges Christians and Jews to UNITE to defeat persecution in Europe Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Meeting with a 30-member delegation of the Conference of European Rabbis, Pope Francis said that European Christians and Jews must stand together to defend one another from discrimination and persecution around the world. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ... continue reading


Money running out, Greek government orders raid on government coffers Watch

Image of Hopes of securing a deal by the end of the month have faded, following a fraught week in which debt drama moved temporarily to Washington for the IMF's spring conference.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Greek government has ordered a mandatory transfer of cash reserves from state-owned enterprises to the central bank. The action is a frantic bid to gather enough cash to remain solvent. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Citing "extremely urgent and ... continue reading


HISTORIC MEETING: Pope Francis meets with rabbis to decry growing anti-Semitism in Europe Watch

Image of In the face of rampant secularism in Europe and other parts of the world, Pope Francis suggested that Jews and Christians have a co-responsibility to keep faith in God alive.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis met in the Vatican with a delegation from the Conference of European Rabbis, the first time a pope has ever met with the Conference. Foremost in the meeting were the troubling "anti-Semitic trends in Europe." The Pope called it a cause for worry, ... continue reading


Muslim migrants threw Nigerian and Ghana Christians overboard, police say Watch

Image of More than 10,000 people have arrived on Italian shores from Libya since last weekend alone.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Muslims among migrants trying to get from Libya to Italy in a boat killed 12 fellow passengers by throwing them overboard because they were Christians, Italian police say. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - At least 15 people have been arrested on suspicion of ... continue reading


Rare phenomenon 'worm rainfall' observed in Norway, scientists still baffled Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Thousands of earthworms were observed falling from the sky across the southern part of Norway, which still baffles the scientists. The rare phenomenon was sighted by a Biology teacher Karstein Erstad, as he was skiing in the mountains near Bergen last weekend. ... continue reading


Pope Francis is part of 'evil front' against Turkey, prime minister declares Watch

Image of Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has accused Pope Francis of being part of an

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has accused Pope Francis of being part of an "evil front" plotting against his country. The Pope used the term "genocide" in describing the massacre of one million Armenians during the Ottoman Empire in 1915. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Vatican-backed exorcism course warns of 'beautiful young vampires' Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Beautiful young vampires," in vitro fertilization and gay rights were among the warnings for possession presented during a Vatican-backed exorcism course. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Vampires from pop culture Hollywood films, like Twilight and True Blood, were ... continue reading


Pope Francis' talk about Satan increases worldwide interest in exorcism Watch

Image of A week-long exorcism conference, held this week at the Pontifical University of Regina Apostolorum in Rome and endorsed by the Vatican, is being attended by around 160 Catholic priests from around the world.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The world is now in the throes of an increased awareness of Satan and the "dark arts" of exorcism. Pope Francis' fire-and-brimstone language, coupled with his frequent references to the Devil has raised awareness of the Evil One once again into the mainstream of ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Peter 5:5-14
5 In the same way, younger people, be subject to the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 89:2-3, 6-7, 16-17
2 for you have said: love is built to last for ever, ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 16:15-20
15 And he said to them, 'Go out to the whole world; ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 25th, 2015 Image

St. Mark
April 25: The second Gospel was written by St. Mark, who, in the New ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter