Christians and Muslims urged to strengthen engagement

Christians and Muslims must strengthen their engagement in building up good relations among people of different religions, to promote cultural dialogue and to work together for lasting peace, the Vatican said in its message for the end of the Muslim Holy month of Ramadan.

CLICK HEREArchbishop Michael Fitzgerald, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, said it had become a tradition for the Pontifical Council "to send a message to our Muslim brothers and sisters on the occasion of the end of Ramadan".

"As Id al-Fitr comes around again, at the close of the month of Ramadan, I wish to offer to all of you, in whatever part of the world you may be, my very best wishes for a Happy Feast," he said.

Archbishop Fitzgerald recalled the 1991 message, signed by Pope John Paul II in which the Pope wrote about the need for "a sincere, profound and constant dialogue between believing Catholics and believing Muslims, from which there can arise a strengthened mutual knowledge and trust".

"It was faith in God and confidence in humanity that impelled the late Pope to engage in dialogue. He constantly reached out to brothers and sisters of all religions with respect and a desire for collaboration, as had been encouraged by the Second Vatican Council in its Declaration Nostra aetate of which the fortieth anniversary occurs this year," Archbishop Fitzgerald said.

Pope Benedict XVI, in receiving the representatives of other religions who attended the celebration for the beginning of his Pontificate, also expressed his appreciation for the growth of dialogue between Muslims and Christians.

Pope Benedict emphasised that it is the duty of every one, especially those who profess to belong to a religious tradition, to work for peace and that "our efforts to come together and foster dialogue are a valuable contribution to building peace on solid foundations".

"Encouraged by these words of the Pope, it is for us to strengthen our engagement in building up good relations among people of different religions, to promote cultural dialogue and to work together for greater justice and enduring peace," Archbishop Fitzgerald said.

"Let us, as Christians and Muslims, show that we can live together in true fraternity, striving always to do the will of Merciful God who created humanity to be one family."

Christians and Muslims urged to strengthen their engagement in building good relations (Australian Catholic Bishops Conference 3/11/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald: Continuing on the Path of Dialogue (Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue)
Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity

4 Nov 2005