Catholic-Muslim committee finds agreement on violence and religion


Vatican City, Jun 16, 2008 - The Church reported progress in its dialogue with Muslims over the weekend as the Islamic-Catholic Liaison Committee met for its fourteenth session. Participants found five points of agreement on the topic: "The God of Justice, of Peace and of Compassion in a World Suffering from Violence."

In a statement made public on Saturday by the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, it was explained that this meeting was the fourteenth time that the Islamic-Catholic Liaison Committee has held a meeting.

The Catholic delegation was headed by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, while the Islamic delegation was headed by Professor Hamid bin Ahmad Al-Rifaie, president of the International Islamic Forum for Dialogue, of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The committee focused their discussions on the topic of "Christians and Muslims as Witnesses of the God of Justice, of Peace and of Compassion in a World Suffering from Violence."

After both sides talking about their religious teachings on the topic, five separate points were agreed upon.
1. From the inherent dignity of each human being stem fundamental rights and duties.

2. Justice is a priority in our world. It requires, beyond the implementation of the existing legal provisions, the respect of the fundamental needs of individuals and peoples through an attitude of love, fraternity and solidarity. There can be no true and lasting peace without justice.

3. Peace is a gift from God and also requires the commitment of all human beings, and particularly believers, who are called to be vigilant witnesses to peace in a world afflicted by violence in many forms.

4. Christians and Muslims believe that God is compassionate and therefore they consider it their duty to show compassion towards every human person, especially the needy and the weak.

5. Religions, if authentically practiced, effectively contribute in promoting brotherhood and harmony in the human family.

Following their June 11-13 sessions, the participants were received in audience by Benedict XVI "who encouraged them to continue their endeavors for the promotion of justice and peace."