The Catholic Southern Front

Catholic-Muslim Statement on Dialogue

May 4, 2008

Catholic-Muslim Statement on Dialogue

Filed under: Uncategorized — Conservative @ 7:56 am

“Faith and Reason Are Intrinsically Nonviolent”

VATICAN CITY, APRIL 30, 2008 ( Here is a statement released at the conclusion of the sixth colloquium between the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and the Center for Interreligious Dialogue of the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization.

The colloquium began Monday and ended today.

* * *

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (Vatican) and the Centre for Inter-religious Dialogue of the Islamic Culture and Relations Organisation (Tehran, Iran) held their sixth Colloquium in Rome from 28 – 30 April 2008 under the joint presidency of His Eminence Cardinal Jean-Louis TAURAN, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and His Excellency Dr. Mahdi MOSTAFAVI, President of the Islamic Culture and Relations Organisation.

The delegation of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue was composed as follows:

– His Excellency Archbishop Pier Luigi CELATA

– His Excellency Archbishop Ramzi GARMOU

– Reverend Monsignor Khaled AKASHEH

– Reverend Monsignor Prof. Piero CODA

– Reverend Father Prof. Michel FÉDOU, S.J.

– Prof. Vittorio POSSENTI

– Dr. Ilaria MORALI

The delegation of the Islamic Culture and Relations Organisation was composed as follows:

– Hojjat al-Islam Dr. Mohammad Jafar ELMI

– Hojjat al-Islam Dr. Mohammad MASJEDJAMEI

– Dr. Abdolrahim GAVAHI

– Hojjat al-Islam Dr. Seyyed Mahdi KHAMOUSHI

– Hojjat al-Islam Dr. Hamid PARSANIA



The participants, with the help of six papers presented by three scholars from each side, examined the theme Faith and Reason in Christianity and Islam, which was developed through three subthemes from the point of view of Catholics and Shi’a Muslims: 1) Faith and reason: Which relation? 2) Theology/Kalam as inquiry into the rationality of faith; 3) Faith and reason confronted with the phenomenon of violence.

And the end of the meeting the participants agreed upon the following:

1. Faith and reason are both gifts of God to mankind.

2. Faith and reason do not contradict each other, but faith might in some cases be above reason, but never against it.

3. Faith and reason are intrinsically non-violent. Neither reason nor faith should be used for violence; unfortunately, both of them have been sometimes misused to perpetrate violence. In any case, these events cannot question either reason or faith.

4. Both sides agreed to further co-operate in order to promote genuine religiosity, in particular spirituality, to encourage respect for symbols considered to be sacred and to promote moral values.

5. Christians and Muslims should go beyond tolerance, accepting differences, while remaining aware of commonalities and thanking God for them. They are called to mutual respect, thereby condemning derision of religious beliefs.

6. Generalization should be avoided when speaking of religions. Differences of confessions within Christianity and Islam, diversity of historical contexts are important factors to be considered.

7. Religious traditions cannot be judged on the basis of a single verse or a passage present in their respective holy Books. A holistic vision as well as an adequate hermeneutical method is necessary for a fair understanding of them.

The participants expressed their satisfaction with the level of the presentations and the debates as well as the open and friendly atmosphere during the colloquium.

The participants were honoured and pleased to be received at the end of the colloquium by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, who was particularly satisfied with the choice of the theme and the venue of the meeting.

The next colloquium will be held in Tehran within two years, preceded by a preparatory meeting.

Islamic-Catholic Panel Reaches 5 Conclusions

Agree That Muslims, Christians Share Duty of Compassion

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 16, 2008 ( 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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