Vatican City, 26 November 2014 (VIS) – CARDINAL JEAN-LOUIS TAURAN, PRESIDENT OF THE PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR Interreligious Dialogue is participating in the 9th Colloquium between the aforementioned Pontifical Council and the Centre for Interreligious Dialogue (CID) of the Islamic Culture and Relations Organisation (ICRO), held in Teheran, Iran from 25 to 26 November on the theme “Christians and Muslims in constructive dialogue for the good of society”. In his address, the cardinal remarked that the term “construction” normally refers to the building of a house on strong foundations, and emphasised that “we need to be sure that we are doing good work, on solid foundations, to be sure of the hoped results for our present and our future”. Other themes to be considered during the meeting are spirituality, religious values as a response to extremism and violence, and the role of the media in promoting a culture of dialogue. Cardinal Tauran remarked that, when agreeing the sub-themes during the preparatory meeting, no-one imagined that extremism and violence would become as dramatic as they are today. “We cannot remain silent or indifferent to the extreme, inhuman and multi-form violence to which Christians and Yezedis have been subjected. Many of them, as we know, have preferred death to renouncing their faith. They are true martyrs. … Nothing can justify these heinous acts. Invoking religion to justify these crimes would be a crime against religion itself as well”.
ARCHBISHOP DOMINIQUE MAMBERTI, SECRETARY FOR RELATIONS WITH STATES yesterday addressed the plenary assembly of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference in Sydney, in a discourse devoted to the diplomatic activity of the Holy See, with special reference to the situation of Christians in the Middle East. “The Holy See's diplomacy has various particular aims, which flow from its primarily spiritual mission. These include the defence of the Church's rights and freedom, and of religious liberty in general, the promotion of an ethical vision in the various questions which affect human life, society and development, the defence of human dignity and rights, the promotion of reconciliation and peace, the promotion of integral human development and humanitarian interests, the protection of the environment and, when requested, the mediation of disputes”.
The Holy See, he added, “is very concerned about the tragic situation currently unfolding in the Middle East. It does not propose technical solutions but it is tirelessly involved in raising international awareness and in appealing to the international community to intervene as a matter of urgency to stop the aggressor, provide humanitarian aid and address the root causes of the present crisis”.