Final Statement of the Third Colloquium of the “Catholic-Muslim Forum”
11-13 November 2014
The delegates acknowledged many examples across the world of active Catholic-Muslim collaboration in educational, charitable, and relief efforts. After the presentations of the papers and the discussions which ensued in a cordial and fraternal atmosphere, the participants agreed on the following points:
1. The delegates recognised that their gathering took place in a time of severe tension and conflict in the world, underlining the vital importance of enhanced service and mutual cooperation. In this context the delegates unanimously condemned acts of terrorism, oppression, violence against innocent persons, persecution, desecration of sacred places, and the destruction of cultural heritage. It is never acceptable to use religion to justify such acts or to conflate such acts with religion.
2. The education of young people, be it in the family, school, university, church or mosque, is of the utmost importance for the promotion of a well-rounded identity which builds respect for others. To this end, school curricula and textbooks should portray an objective and respectful image of the other.
3. The participants affirmed the importance of the culture of interreligious dialogue for deepening mutual understanding. This is required to overcome prejudice, distortions, suspicions, and inappropriate generalisations, all of which damage the peaceful relationships we all seek.
4. It was felt that dialogue should lead to action, particularly among young people. The participants encouraged Christians and Muslims to multiply opportunities for encounter and cooperation on joint projects for the common good.
On Wednesday 12th November, His Holiness Pope Francis gave an audience in which he greeted all the participants, encouraging them to persevere on the path of Christian-Muslim dialogue, and was pleased to note their shared commitment to the selfless and disinterested service of society.
Finally, the delegates expressed their satisfaction at their fruitful encounter, and looked forward to the next meeting of the Forum.