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Saturday, May 7, 2016

Faith in dialogue

On Wednesday of this week, prior to the General Audience which was held in Saint Peter's Square, Pope Francis briefly greeted and spoke with a group of visitors from the Royal Institute for Inter-faith Studies in Amman (Jordan) who were in Rome this week to take part in a colloquium organized by the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue.

Having now concluded their discussions, the participants in this week's colloquium have published a declaration of their intent to move forward.


Final Declaration of the Colloquium 
including the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue
and members of the Royal Institute for Inter-faith Studies

The Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue (P.C.I.D.), Vatican City, and the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies (R.I.I.F.S.), Amman, Jordan, held their fourth colloquium in Rome from Tuesday 3rd to 4th May 2016.

The theme chosen was Shared values in social and political life: Christian and Muslim perspectives.

The theme was studied through three sub-themes: 1) Citizens and believers: Christian and Muslim perspectives, presented respectively by Father Professor Mohan Doss, S.V.D. (India) and Professor Ahmed Abaddi, Morocco; 2) Our shared values and respective particularities, by Professor Wajih Kanso, Lebanon and by Father Professor Salim Daccache, S.J., Lebanon; 3) Reaching out for the needy and the vulnerable: A common concern for Christians and Muslims, by Monsignor Giovanni Pietro Dal Toso, the Vatican, and by Doctor Hani El-Banna, UK.

His Eminence, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the P.C.I.D., presided over the Catholic delegation, and His Royal Highness, Prince El Hassan bin Talal, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of R.I.I.F.S., headed the Muslim delegation.

The Catholic delegation comprised also:
H.E. Bishop Miguel Ayuso, M.C.C.J, Secretary, P.C.I.D.
Mons. Khaled Akasheh, Bureau Chief for Islam, P.C.I.D.
H.E. Jean-Paul Vesco, O.P., Bishop of Oran
H.E. Mrs Anne Leahy, Ambassador emerita of Canada to the Holy See
Dr. Anan Al-Kass Yousif, Iraq
Mrs. Ruth Susan Wangeci Maina, Kenya
Eng. Riad Sargi, Syria
Mr. Michael Utama Purnama, Indonesia.
The Muslim delegation comprised also:
Dr. Fareed Yaqoob Yusuf Mubarak AlMuftah, Bahrain
Dr. Amer El Hafi, Jordan
Dr. Oussama Mohamed Nabil, Egypt
Dr. Hassan Nadhem, Iraq
Dr. Majeda Omar, Director of R.I.I.F.S., Jordan
Dr. Nayla Tabbara, Lebanon.
The participants greatly appreciated the papers and discussed them in a spirit of openness and in an atmosphere of great cordiality.

Both delegations were received this morning by His Holiness, Pope Francis. They were moved by his words: Dialogue is going out of ourselves, with a word to hear the word of the other. The two words meet, two thoughts meet. It is the first step of a journey. Following this meeting of the word, hearts meet and begin a dialogue of friendship which ends with holding hands. Word, hearts, hands. It's simple! A little child knows how to do it.

At the end of the colloquium, the participants proposed the following:

We share beliefs and moral values. Our commonalities are much more than our particularities, and they constitute a solid basis peacefully and fruitfully living together, also with persons of good will who do not profess a particular religion.

We believe in the humanizing and civilizing role of our religions, when their followers adhere to their principles of worshipping God and loving and caring for the other.

We believe that God bestowed upon every person dignity and inalienable rights. They are His gifts that should be recognized, guaranteed and protected by law.

We pledge our solidarity with our brothers and sisters in humanity who are in any kind of need regardless of their ethnic, religious or cultural background.

Our help to the poor and the needy should be offered out of compassion and for the sake of God's favour. It should never be used to proselytise.

We believe that the youth represent not only the future of humanity. They are also an important part of its present. They have the right to proper education that prepares them to be good citizens respectful of diversity.

Our world, our common home, is going through many complicated crises and needs the steady efforts of its inhabitants to make it a suitable place where we can live together peacefully, sharing the resources of the universe, mindful of future generations.

We express our proximity and solidarity with all those who suffer, especially from violence and armed conflict. Respect for international law, dialogue, justice, mercy, compassion are values and adequate means to achieve peace and harmony.

The P.C.I.D. and the R.I.I.F.S, grateful to Almighty God for their fruitful collaboration, decided to continue it, meeting within a year to prepare for the V colloquium.

From the Vatican, 4 May 2016
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