Pope: Christianity, Islam share common commitment to good life

by Francesco Merlo, Vatican News

Click here to read Pope Francis’ full address.

Pope Francis addresses participants at a meeting reflecting on the creative commonalities between Christianity and Islam, and he reminds all those present that the purpose of life is one and gives glory to God.

Addressing participants at the VI Colloquium between the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue and the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies, Pope Francis encouraged each member, noting that with this being their sixth encounter, their perseverance is clear.

Commonalities between religions

The theme of the colloquium, “Creative Commonalities between Christianity and Islam”, the Pope said, reflects how “each of us is like the link in a long chain: many people have preceded us on the beautiful and challenging road of encounter and friendship, others will follow us, as we hope and pray, confirming that feeling of brotherhood that is the foundation of relations between peoples”.

Pope Francis then went on to express his appreciation and gratitude to King Abdullah II of Jordan for his attention to the Christian communities not only of his own country but also to those of the Middle East generally, “particularly in times marked by conflict and violence”.

Protection of heritage

The Royal Institute for Interreligious Studies, the Pope continued, “has among its main objectives the preservation and enhancement of the Arab Christian heritage”. In this regard, “I can only express further gratitude, because this not only benefits the Christian citizens of yesterday and today, but also protects and consolidates this heritage throughout the Middle East, so diverse and rich in ethnicities, religions, cultures, languages, and traditions”.

A commitment to living a good life

Bringing his message to a close, the Pope noted that the dialogue practiced and promoted requires a style of sincerity and mutual respect if it is to be fruitful, and requires “an awareness of both convergences and divergences”. He spoke of compassion for all, before adding that “we also believe that not everything ends with death, but that there is another life, eternal, where we will give account to God for our actions and receive reward or punishment”.

Finally, the Pope noted that “our common commitment is to a good life” and this, he concluded, “gives glory to God and joy to all those we meet on our earthly pilgrimage”.