Pope Francis said these words a few days ago, which he also explained the Catholic Church will “intensify the dialogue between the different religions, first and foremost with Islam” giving new momentum to the relations between the Catholic and the Muslim worlds.
Representatives of the Arab-Muslim world have accepted the invitation with great appreciation, including the Grand Imam dell’Azhar, Ahmed el-Tayyeb, who leads Sunni Islam. The Grand Imam dell’Azhar calls for “a world full of love and cooperation to ensure common values and to end the culture of hatred and inequality.” Imam Yahya Pallavicini, vice president of COREIS (Italian Religious Communities) also agrees, who was among 138 international Muslim scholars who signed “A Common Word Between You and Us,” addressed to Christian religious communities. Imam Pallavicini points out in no uncertain terms that, today more than ever; it is important to promote an interreligious dialogue for a world united in peace.
In an interview, Magdi Cristiano Allam says he disagrees with the Catholic Church in the Church’s embrace of Islam. The interviewer asks, “but Jesus taught to continue a dialogue with the violent,” to which Allam states, “the dialogue takes place between people, it is a tool that can be productive if you share the same values and if your goal is in common, however if the goal is to impose a religion than the goals are different. Allam then says “John Paul II came to kiss the Koran, Benedict XVI prayed in a Mosque, now Pope Francesco refers to Muslims as those who believe in one God.” Allam ended the interview by saying “the Qur’an and Allah have nothing to do with Jesus.”
March 20, 2013
Pope Francis wanted to give a strong signal to representatives of other faiths, “the Catholic Church is aware of the importance of the promotion of friendship and respect between men and women of different religious traditions” said the Pope.
Francis greeted and thanked all those who belong to other religious traditions, “first and foremost Muslims, who worship the one God, those who are merciful and call upon him in prayer. I really appreciate your presence and your new willingness to grow mutual respect and cooperation for the common good. ”
The Islamic world gave a positive response, with the International Union of Muslim scholars who said they were ready to resume dialogue with the Vatican after the election of the new pope. The organization led by Yusuf Al Qaradawi had previously cut off all communication with Pope Ratzinger because of his position on Islam was considered hostile.
As Jorge Bergoglio begins his new life as Pope Francis, we join in celebration with the Roman Catholic Church in the election of the first Latin American, first Jesuit pontiff. With the selection of the name Francis (in reference to St. Francis of Assisi) it appears Bergoglio seeks to ring the bells of St. Peter’s for global inclusion, care for the marginalized and — we sincerely hope — inter-religious cooperation.
This week, Pope Francis has acquired a new set of clothes. In accepting the papacy, he now is shrouded in the protection of the church’s political vestments.
As representatives of an interreligious university, we trust that Pope Francis will wisely recognize the transparency of his new clothes and hew to the naked simplicity of his namesake’s example. We hope he will dialogue with all who are committed to honesty, open inquiry, social equality, economic justice and understanding between the religions.
Jorge Bergoglio’s past has not been perfect, nor his public record spotless, for, after all, he is human. But for the new man he has become as Pope Francis — for his outlook, for his stamina, for his health — we pray. We join together with millions around the world to ask God to bless him and give him wisdom as he leads the Catholic Church into the possibilities of a better future.
Friday, March 15, 2013
This is the message addressed to Pope Francis sent by COREIS Italian an organization which represents Italian Muslims
As Muslims, we wish to express to all Catholic Christians, our brothers in the faith of One God, our most heartfelt congratulations for the renewal of a leadership role for the Catholic Church. We are aware of the vital importance of continuity in the expression of authority which is vital to every spiritual community of believers, especially in times of transition. We welcome the call to brotherhood expressed in the first words of the newly elected Pope Francis, in the hope that it will realize an authentic spiritual harmony among followers of different religious communities. We hope that the new pontificate is a true sign of real universal openness and recognition for all orthodoxies which base their faith in the One God.
As Muslims we hope that the selection of name of the new Pope remembers Francis of Assisi’s great example of holiness and openness to the East and Islam. We also remember another great saint, St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order, who reminds us that a sense of longing for the knowledge of God is at the heart of all true spirituality. In this moment of historic transition we believe that the fate of humanity are intimately linked to the ability to continue to develop dimensions of faith, knowledge and holiness, which are embodied by men belonging the various religions.
COREIS has always recognized the work to preserve the testimony of God in the West and will continue a dialogue with the Catholic Church and Christianity. COREIS remembers the historic meeting in Assisi in 1986, in which the founder of COREIS, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Wahid Pallavicini, was welcomed by the Blessed John Paul II. Other milestones include meetings between the vice president Imam Yahya Pallavicini and Pope Benedict XVI at Castel Gandolfo in 2006. We renew our best wishes for the beginning of the new pontificate, confident that cooperation will be vital for a new intellectual orientation; we support a spiritual man in his contribution to the world.
In a statement reacting to Pope Benedict’s decision to step down at the end of this month, Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said:
“We offer the American Muslim community’s best wishes to Pope Benedict XVI as he leaves his position as head of the Roman Catholic Church.
“In recent years — and despite some passing controversies — relations between Muslims and Catholics have strengthened, particularly on issues related to social justice and family values.
“We look forward to continued and growing positive interfaith relations under the new pontiff as Muslims in the United States and worldwide join with people of all faiths and cultures who seek to make a better world.”
11 February 2013
The president of the Union of Islamic Communities of Spain, Riay Tatary has expressed on Monday his respect and value for the resignation of Benedict XVI to the papacy due to his advanced age, as his role is one of “a lot of responsability”.
During his declarations, Tatary has highlighted the attitude of Benedict XVI as head of the Catholic Church of visiting several Muslim countries, through which he has “removed” the “damage” that he had caused in the relationship with Islam in the beginning of his pontificate.
Newly released papers seized at Bin Laden’s compound in Abbotabad suggest that American-born al-Qa’ida operative Adam Gadahn considered Irish people to be particularly receptive for Islam. In a letter to an unknown recipient of January 2011, he suggested issuing a message specifically addressing the Irish people, inviting them to convert to Islam. Irish sympathies for the Palestinian cause, a growing disillusionment with the Catholic Church, following the revelation of clerical child abuse, and the economic crisis, Gadahn identifies as grounds for a possible openness of the Irish people to Islam. As “the most religious in atheist Europe”, they would rather adopt another religion than embracing secularism, he argues.
Four Muslim families claim that their sons were refused admission to secondary schools run by the Catholic Church in South Dublin due to their religious background. The denominational educational system of the Republic of Ireland, in which most primary and secondary schools – though state-funded – are under the patronage of the Catholic Church, allows for discriminatory admission policies based on religion and for giving preference to pupils of a Catholic background.
While the four families did not encounter any problems in securing places for their daughters in Catholic girls’ secondary schools in the area, their recent applications on behalf their sons at boys’ secondary schools were rejected on the grounds of the limited availability of places. Two families appealed to the decisions at the Department of Education which upheld their appeals.
Furthermore, one family complained about impingements on freedom of religion as its son had to attend Catholic Religious Education classes and participate in religious services held at the school.
The spokesperson of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland, Ali Selim, confirmed the rising number of complaints by Muslim parents who experience difficulties in finding places for their children in secondary schools in Dublin. Selim demands immediate action by the Department of Education which needs to provide clear guidelines on admission policies that prevent discrimination against on religious grounds: “All of us are taxpayers and preference should not be on the basis of religion or race. This is not a Muslim issue, it affects all non-Catholics.”
While visiting Germany in September, Pope Benedikt XVI. got together with representatives of Islamic associations and communities in Berlin. According to the ZEIT, during this meeting, the Pope acknowledged the presence of Muslims as one permanent characteristic of German society and approved of the “atmosphere of mutual respect and trust” that has grown between the Catholic Church and Muslim communities.
On his visit to Germany five years ago, the Pope had stirred up anger amongst Germany’s Muslim community with a controversial speech on Islam and its (alleged) relation to violence.