Interreligious dialogue needed to combat terrorism

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Catholic bishops from Burkina Faso and Niger have called for better dialogue between Muslim and Christian communities in an effort to combat terrorism.

The bishops were in Rome May 20-28 for their ad limina visit, which Catholic bishops must make every five years to report to the pope on their respective dioceses and meet with Vatican officials.

The 21 bishops from Burkina Faso and Niger were welcomed by Pope Francis.

At the top of the list of their pastoral concerns they shared with the pope were security and interreligious dialogue.

“The Catholic Church is surrounded by Muslim populations, and in Burkina Faso, Muslims make up 60 percent of the population,” said Archbishop Paul Yemboaro Ouédraogo of Bobo-Dioulasso, president of the Episcopal Conference of Burkina Faso and Niger.

This is why forging peaceful and cohesive relations is fundamental, he said after his audience with Pope Francis.

FULL ARTICLE FROM LA CROIX

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Christian-Muslim dialogue depends upon knowledge and trust

20170921T1318-11715-CNS-POPE-MUSLIM_800-690x450[Dr. Rita George-Tvrtković is associate professor of theology at Benedictine University, where she specializes in medieval and contemporary Christian-Muslim relations. Recent books include A Christian Pilgrim in Medieval Iraq: Riccoldo da Montecroce’s Encounter with Islam, and the forthcoming Christians, Muslims, and Mary: A History (Paulist Press, 2018). She is former associate director of the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Office for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, and currently lives in Chicago with her husband Zoran and their children, Luka and Anya Lucia. She spoke to Charles Camosy after participating in an interfaith discussion held Oct. 22 and 23 at Catholic University of America, which brought together five Christian and five Muslim scholars from around the United States.]

Camosy: How and why did you get involved in Catholic-Muslim dialogue more generally? 

George-Tvrtković: I’ve been involved at the grassroots level in Chicago since 1997. From 1999-2002, including during the drama of 9/11, I was Associate Director of Archdiocese of Chicago’s Ecumenical & Interreligious office. Then I studied theology and medieval Catholic-Muslim relations at Notre Dame.

Now I’m associate professor of theology at Benedictine University in the suburbs of Chicago, where over 25 percent of our student body is Muslim. I’ve always combined scholarship and grassroots dialogue.

As a Catholic, I am exhorted by Nostra Aetate [the Vatican II document on the relation of the Church with non-Christian religions – Ed.] and other teachings to engage in dialogue with people of different religions. Furthermore, my institution, Benedictine University has a special calling to interreligious hospitality, which is rooted in Ch. 53 of the Rule of St. Benedict (On the Reception of Guests), which itself is rooted in Christ’s call to welcome the stranger.

FULL ARTICLE FROM CRUX NOW

Pope: Ridding stereotypes key to Christian-Muslim relations

1440x1440VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis says the most effective antidote to violence among Christians and Muslims is learning about each other and then accepting differences.

Francis also told participants Saturday of a meeting promoted by the Pontifical Institute of Arab and Islamist Studies that only by carefully listening can interreligious dialogue make progress.

 He said “patience and humility” are essential for deepened Islamic-Christian dialogue while merely superficial dialogue will only yield “stereotypes and preconceptions.”

Francis added: “The most effective antidote to every form of violence is education about discovering and accepting difference as richness and fertileness.”

He did not mention of the deadly jihadi attacks in supposed defense of Islam this month in France, but said “more than ever one feels the need” for such education.

FULL ARTICLE WITH PICTURES FROM THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE 

French imams, Vatican: ‘Without freedom of expression, the world is in danger’

.- French imams visiting the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue released Thursday a joint communique condemning the attack on Charlie Hebdo and calling for freedom of expression.

“Without freedom of expression, the world is in danger,” the Jan 8. statement reads.

It also asked that the media provide information which is “respectful of religions.”

Signed by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, the release comes at the end of a two-day visit to the Vatican of a delegation of French imams, accompanied by representatives of the French bishops conference.

Cardinal Tauran and the imams write they are “shocked” by the attack on Charlie Hebdo, and back Pope Francis’ words, underscoring their “closeness and human and spiritual solidarity to the victims and their families.”

Considering the impact of media on public opinion, the Vatican and the  imams also invited “responsible media to provide information that is respectful of religions, of their followers and of their practices, thus fostering a culture of encounter.”

The release also asked religious leaders to “always promote a culture of peace and hope, able to win over fear and to build bridges among men,” and stressed that interreligious dialogue “is the only path to walk together in order to dissipate prejudices.”

Before the meeting at the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, the four imams launched the idea of a mobilization of all religions in France to testify that “no religion is violent.”

FULL ARTICLE FROM THE CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE