Mission World - March 2019

Historic Document Signed by Pope Francis and Grand Imam of Al-Azhar ‘Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together’ 

Pope and Imam

Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar signed the Document on “Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together” on February 04, 2019. The signing followed the Holy Father’s speech to the Global Conference on Human Fraternity in Abu Dhabi, a key element in the Holy Father’s February 3-5 apostolic visit to the United Arab Emirates.

“The document represents an important step forward in the dialogue between Christians and Muslims and is a powerful sign of peace and hope for the future of humanity,” said a statement from Alessandro Gisotti, Interim Director of the Vatican’s Press Office.

Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin told journalists that the importance of this day is dialogue among religions, especially Christianity and Islam, promoting peace and combatting fundamentalism.

He said, “The Document is a vibrant appeal to respond with good to evil, to reinforce interreligious dialogue and to promote mutual respect in order to block the road to those who add fuel to the fire of the clashes between civilizations. At Abu Dhabi, Francis and Al-Tayyib have together indicated a way of peace and reconciliation on which not only Christians and Muslims can walk, but all people of good will.

It is a courageous document and prophetic because it confronts, and calls by name, the most urgent issues of our day on which those who believe in God are encouraged to question their own conscience and to confidently assume their own responsibility so as to give life to a more just and united world. 

With unambiguous words, the Pope and the Grand Imam declare that no one is ever authorized to exploit God’s name to justify war, terrorism or any other form of violence. In addition, they affirm that life must always be safeguarded and, at the same time, that the rights of women are to be fully recognized, and every discriminatory practice in their regard rejected.

Before humanity, wounded by so many divisions and ideological fanaticism, the Pontiff and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar demonstrate that promoting a culture of encounter is not a utopia, but is the necessary condition for living in peace and leaving for future generations a better world than the one in which we live.”

© Vatican Media

Photo: sgame/Bigstock.com

Mission Intention for March

Recognition of the Right of Christian Communities
That Christian communities, especially those who are persecuted, feel that they are close to Christ and have their rights respected.

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The prayers of our readers are requested for the repose of the souls of friends and benefactors of the Missionary Society of St Columban who died recently and for the spiritual and the temporal welfare of all our readers, their families and friends.

Listen to Mission World - March 2019

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