Faithful Condemnation (Catholic-Muslim Forum)

America Magazine
Current Comment Section

Delegates at the Catholic-Muslim Forum, which met from Nov. 11 to 13 at the Vatican, condemned all use of violence to pursue ideological or religious ends. A joint statement from the meeting stressed that “it is never acceptable to use religion to justify such acts or to conflate such acts with religion” and held up ways to build mutual understanding and respect: educate people on the incompatibility of faith and violence; engage in interreligious dialogue; and, most important, discover how both faith traditions can together serve the wider community.

Founded in 2008, the forum meets every three years to assess relations between the two faiths and look for ways to improve cooperation. Pope Francis urged members to continue on the path of mutual understanding, especially during this time of heightened religious tension. Recognizing that there are many examples of fruitful Catholic-Muslim collaboration, the forum pointed out that it is of “utmost importance” to foster respect and that much work is required to “overcome prejudice, distortions, suspicions and inappropriate generalizations, all of which damage the peaceful relationships we all seek.”

America’s editors recently joined the pope in calling on Catholics to “elevate the conversation” around the Muslim faith and culture (“Encountering Islam,” 11/17). True engagement across religious divides is no easy task; a nuanced reciprocity is required. But, as the editorial stated, we live in a world “where senseless terror threatens Muslims and Christians alike.” Frank and open dialogues like the Vatican forum can be a positive step in firmly repudiating violence carried out in the name of religion as we seek to remove this scourge from our midst.

Original post HERE