Thursday, March 16, 2006

Pope Calls for Dialogue with Islam

Remarks by Pope Benedict XVI in an audience with a delegation from the American Jewish Committee provided by the Vatican Information Service.

"The recent celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Declaration of the Second Vatican Council Nostra Aetate has increased our shared desire to know each other better and to develop a dialogue characterised by mutual respect and love. Indeed, Jews and Christians have a rich common patrimony. In many ways this distinguishes our relationship as unique among the religions of the world. The Church can never forget that chosen people with whom God entered into a holy covenant (cf. Nostra Aetate, 4).

"Judaism, Christianity and Islam believe in the one God, Creator of heaven and earth. It follows, therefore, that all three monotheistic religions are called to cooperate with one another for the common good of humanity, serving the cause of justice and peace in the world. This is especially important today when particular attention must be given to teaching respect for God, for religions and their symbols, and for holy sites and places of worship. Religious leaders have a responsibility to work for reconciliation through genuine dialogue and acts of human solidarity.

"Dear friends, I pray that your visit today may confirm you in your endeavours to build bridges of understanding across all barriers. Upon all of you I invoke the divine gifts of strength and comfort."


The Lemonts said...

I wonder if the Bishop of Rome understands that most Muslims believe Christianity is not monothesistic but polythesistic because of a misunderstanding of the Trinity.

poetreader said...

I'm afraid I sound a bit contrarian, but I fail to see any meaningful similarities between Islam and the Judeo-Christian heritage. True, there is an appropriation of some of the foundational stories, though radically revised, but there is not even a small similarity between the Moslem concept of God and the God revealed in Scriptures. Though Allah is said to be 'compassionate', there is nothing I can recognize as love in his nature. The well-meaning efforts made by the popes and others are doomed to ultimate failure.