January 28, 2014
Vatican City – The book series “Religious History in the Euro-Mediterranean” begins with the volume “From Constantinople to the Caucasus. Empires and peoples of Christianity and Islam.” The new series sponsored by the Fondazione Ambrosiana Paolo VI, in collaboration with the Libreria Editrice Vaticana aims to present the history and religious traditions of the peoples around the Mediterranean.
“The Mediterranean” – explains Monsignor Luigi Mistò, former director of the Fondazione Ambrosiana Paolo VI “is important even in a globalized world because the Mediterranean continues to act as a center and a focal point. Especially in times when problem relationships continue with neighboring cultures and religions even though they have historically been part of the Mediterranean for a millennium.“
The Mediterranean area, explains a statement from the Libreria Vaticana “is considered in its historical context, in its many changes over the centuries, and in its various religious traditions.” The series follows the development from Constantinople, before the ecclesiastical summit of the eastern part of the empire. Constantinople examines the institutional aspects, the religious connotations, spirituality, cultural forms and then the radiation of the Constantinopolitan tradition into Anatolia and the Caucasus, and the conquest of Mehmet II in 1453. At the end of the series, there is also a survey of the contemporary situation.
December 4, 2013
Vatican City – The Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Msgr. Miguel Angel Ayuso, met Tuesday in Cairo with a senior scholar specializing in the Sunni Islam faith, said a Vatican spokesman. Ayuso met for 45 minutes with Abbas Shouman, the second-highest official with Al Azhar University, a world-renowned center of religious research of Sunni Islam, emphasizing the strong relationship between the pontifical council and the Islamic university, said Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi. The meeting was positive and encouraging, said Lombardi. “The result is a willingness to resume…dialogue and collaboration,” he added. The Vatican has worked to mend fences with the university that suspended relations after the former Pope Benedict said in late 2011 that Christians were the world’s most persecuted religious group. Benedict’s comments came after a year of incidents including a bombing in Alexandria, Egypt in early 2011 where 23 Copts were killed.
Gazzette del Sud: http://www.gazzettadelsud.it/news/71338/Vatican-representative-meets-with-Islam-scholar-in-Cairo.html
The Vatican plans to respond positively to an appeal by Muslim scholars, in an unprecedented dialogue between Christians and Muslims. As of yet, the Catholic Church has not officially answered the call made last month by Muslim scholars, already hailed by many other Christian leaders. Cardinals in Rome and Vatican City asserted that Catholic leaders wanted a serious dialogue with Muslim leaders to help overcome misunderstandings. This is an opportunity the Lord has given us and put into the hearts of people to work together, said Cardinal Oswald Gracias from Mumbai. The Vatican is expected to invite a small group of scholars who signed the appeal for exploratory talks and interfaith discussion. Aref Ali Nayed, a signatory of the appeal, said Muslims understood the Vatican took time to respond and that a positive response “would be a clear sign of hope for the world.”
Pope Benedict has accepted an unprecedented call by Muslim scholars for dialogue between Christians and Islam, and invited them for meetings in Vatican City. “Without ignoring or downplaying our differences as Christians and Muslims, we can and therefore should look to what unites us, namely the belief in one God,” the Vatican wrote in a message signed by Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State. The pope also said that he was willing to receive Prince Ghazi Bin Mohammed of Jordan, the monarch’s special adviser on religious matters, to whom the note is addressed, as well as a restricted group of the letter’s signatories.
By Ian Fisher A group of 138 Muslim scholars urged Pope Benedict XVI and other Christian leaders to engage in a deep dialogue for peace between the faiths. Muslims and Christians together make up well over half of the world’s population, the 29-page letter read. Without peace and justice between these two religious communities, there can be no meaningful peace in the world. There was no immediate reaction from Benedict, criticized for a speech he gave last year that Muslims said equated their religion with violence. He has since called repeatedly for a similar dialogue between Christians and Muslims.