Address at the Inauguration Ceremony of the KAICIID

His Eminence Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran

Hofburg, Vienna, Austria
26 November 2012

Your Holiness,
Your Excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is my privilege to bring to this assembly the greetings of Pope Benedict XVI, as well as his prayerful best wishes for the success of the activity of this Dialogue Centre.

Ladies and gentlemen.

We are being watched. Everyone is expecting from the initiative of His Majesty King Abdullah, supported by the governments of Austria and Spain, with the assistance of the Holy See as Founding Observer, honesty, vision and credibility.

This Centre presents another opportunity for open dialogue on many issues, including those related to fundamental human rights, in particular religious freedom in all its aspects, for everybody, for every community, everywhere. In this regard, you will understand that the Holy See is particularly attentive to the fate of Christian communities in countries where such a freedom is not adequately guaranteed. Information, new initiatives, aspirations, and perhaps also failures will be brought to our attention. It then will be the task of the Centre – and when possible with the cooperation of other organizations – to verify their authenticity and to act consequently, in order that our contemporaries not be deprived of the light and the resources that religion offers for the happiness of every human being.

Believers have to work for and to support all that favours the human person in his material, moral and religious aspirations. So three attitudes are required:

1. respect of the other in his/her specificity;

2. mutual objective knowledge of the religious tradition of each other, particularly through education;

3. collaboration in order that our pilgrimage towards the Truth be realized in freedom and serenity.

Concluding and quoting Pope Benedict XVI, I would like to assure you of the cooperation of the Catholic Church: “By her presence, her prayer and her various works of mercy, especially in education and health care, she wishes to give her best to everyone. She wants to be close to those who are in need, near to those who search for God.” (Apostolic Journey to Benin, Welcome Ceremony, 18 November 2011).

It is in that spirit of brotherhood and friendship that we have to work!

Thank you.