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Vatican official encourages deepening of Catholic-Muslim dialogue

A top Vatican official and an internationally renowned Muslim scholar said last week that the quest for peace in the world calls for efforts to advance Catholic-Muslim dialogue at all levels.

Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, said the very fears and tensions caused by events such as the war on Iraq and the US terrorist attacks in 2001 "have brought Christians and Muslims together, perhaps more than ever before".

"New opportunities have been created for a constructive dialogue between the adherents of Christianity and Islam," he said.

Imam Abdulaziz Sachedina, a professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia, acknowledged the growth of dialogue among Muslim and Christian leaders and scholars but asked, "When dialogue takes place at the official level, is it reaching the people? This is where the dialogue needs to have its effect. This is where respect has to take place."

Catholic News Service

Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue

29 Apr 2003