The Vatican Press Office today posted an important joint declaration regarding Catholic-Muslim dialogue. The declaration is signed by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and Professor-Sheikh Abd al-Fattah Muhammad Alaam, President of the Committee for Dialogue Al-Azhar.
The Final Declaration of the Annual Meeting of the Joint Committee for Dialogue of the Permanent Committee of Al-Azhar for Dialogue Among the Monotheistic Religions and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (Vatican), written in English, is the product of a meeting in Cairo on Monday and Tuesday of this week.
The declaration mentions positions that the two religions hold in common. It strongly condemns offensive cartoons, attacks against Islam, and other attacks against religion. It calls on religious symbols to be respected. Among its recommendations are a statement that all religions respect the dignity of the human person; a recommendation to foster true respect for religions, their holy books, and religious symbols; an appeal to the mass media to avoid letting freedom of expression become a pretext for offending religions, and to encourage mutual acceptance; to encourage an exchange of views on matters of mutual concern; and to assess these recommendations at future meetings.