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Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Vatican City, 26 June 2013 (VIS) - The Islamic-Catholic Liaison Committee held its 19th meeting in Rome on 18 – 19 June 2013, corresponding to 9 – 10 Shaban 9, 1434. The assembly was presided over—for the Catholic side—by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and—for the Muslim side—by Dr Hamid bin Ahmad Al-Rifaie, president of the International Islamic Forum for Dialogue.

The theme of the meeting was: “Believers Confronting Materialism and Secularism in Society”. After listening to the papers presented by Catholic and Muslim scholars and exchanging views about the above mentioned theme, the participants agreed upon the following: that Christianity and Islam affirm the inseparability and complementarity between the material and the spiritual domains and that our responsibility as believers is to reconcile these dimensions of life; that many people today suffer from the loss of spiritual and religious roots, a phenomenon that weakens both the inner and moral dimensions of individuals and societies; and that the world today is facing many kinds of crises. Our common responsibility as believers in God is to do all that is possible to protect vulnerable people at this time.

Pope Francis received participants in the meeting in audience, encouraging them to continue their efforts on the path of “respectful and fruitful dialogue between believers for the peace and prosperity of our world”.

The violence in Syria was also strongly condemned in the meeting and an appeal was made to the regional and international organizations to do everything possible to stop the bloodshed, according to International Law.

The Committee will hold its next meeting in Tatwan, Morocco. It will be preceded by a preparatory event to be organized by the Muslim side.

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