DAILY CATHOLIC     MONDAY     June 1, 1998     vol. 9, no. 105

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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          VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- Pope John Paul II Friday underlined the urgent need for dialogue between Christianity and Islam, which he saw as necessary to the building of peace for future generations.

          The Pope's statement greeted the signing of an accord which created a committee bringing together representatives of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue with representatives of the al- Azhar University in Cairo. The accord also condemned "religious fanaticism" and all forms of hatred, violence, and terrorism.

          As he received the members of the joint committee in a private audience on Friday, Pope John Paul said that what lies at stake in the search for inter-religious understanding is "the peace of the world." Acknowledging that progress toward mutual agreement might be slow, he added that future generations would be grateful for the effort. "The long history of relations between Christians and Muslims has its highlights and its shadows," the Holy Father observed. Now the task that remains is to recognize differences and establish a climate of mutual respect, he said.

          The new accord is particularly significant because the al-Azhar University is recognized as the leading authority in the Sunni branch of Islam. The two-page agreement was signed by the second leading official of that university, along with Cardinal Francis Arinze, the head of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue.

Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

June 1, 1998       volume 9, no. 105


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