Vatican City, 15 May 2014 (VIS) – Yesterday afternoon the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies (Amman, Jordan) and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue concluded their Third Colloquium in the Jordanian capital. Held under the joint patronage of His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal and His Eminence Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Vatican dicastery, the theme chosen this year was “Meeting current challenges through education”.
At the end of the meeting which, as mentioned by the participants, took place on the eve of Pope Francis' visit to the Holy Land, considered a source of hope for all the populations in this region – a communique was issued, beginning with a strong condemnation of “all forms of violence, and most recently the kidnapping of the Nigerian school girls”, calling for “their immediate release, so that they can return to their families and their schools”. They also advocated peaceful resolutions to all ongoing conflicts.
The participants stated that the discussion, which took place in an atmosphere of cordiality and friendship, allowed them to agree on the following points:
- the fundamental institutions for the education of children and youth are the family and the school;
- the importance of proper religious education, in particular for the transmission of religious and moral values;
- the necessary consideration of the dignity of the human person, especially in educational institutions;
- there is widespread disregard for the international provisions aimed at guaranteeing the effective respect of fundamental human rights, in particular religious freedom;
- the most urgent challenges to meet include the peaceful resolution of current conflicts, the eradication of poverty and the promotion of the spiritual and moral dimension of life;
- the conviction that religion is not the cause of conflicts, but rather inhumanity and ignorance; consequently integral education is essential;
- many recalled that religions, properly understood and practised, are not causes of division and conflicts but rather a necessary factor for reconciliation and peace.
As believers, we hope that human wisdom would always meet the wisdom of God.
Finally, as the future of humanity is in the hands of the young generations, we propose the following Cultural Decalogue for everyone involved in education:
1) Never renounce intellectual curiosity;
2) Have intellectual courage instead of intellectual cowardice;
3) Be humble and not intellectually arrogant;
4) Practice intellectual empathy instead of closed mindedness;
5) Observe intellectual integrity;
6) Keep your intellectual autonomy;
7) Persevere in the face of surrounding superficiality;
8) Trust reason;
9) Be fair-minded and not intellectually unfair;
10) Consider pluralism as richness, not a threat.
Finally, they declared their intention to will continue our fruitful dialogue through future colloquia and other initiatives.