Holy Matrimony ! Catholic-Shiite Dialogue


by jimzbund

Emshab cheh shabist .......

From: www.qantara.de

Reasonable Understanding: Catholic-Shiite Dialogue

The Vatican and leading Iranian theologians have recently published a joint statement on "Faith and Reason in Christianity and Islam". The initiative demonstrates that Rome is clearly trying to nurture relations with Islam, says Ulrich Ruh

The back page of the May 1st edition of the Vatican newspaper "L'Osservatore Romano" included a headline: "Holy Father meets Muslim delegation from Iran." The meeting followed the Pope's weekly general audience, and it came at the end of a three-day colloquium led by the French cardinal Jena-Louis Tauran, current president of the Papal Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and the President of the Tehran-based Islamic Culture and Relations Organisation, Mahdi Mostafavi.

The declaration at the end of the colloquium was brief, but it made it to the front page of the German daily "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" and was reported widely. The statement was seen, unavoidably, in the context of a lecture on Faith and Reason given by Pope Benedict XVI in Regensburg last year. That lecture began with the thesis that both faith and reason are gifts given by God to humanity. That was followed by the proposition that faith and reason were not contradictory: faith might sometimes go beyond reason, but could never be directed against reason.

Unspectacular continuity

This was the sixth colloquium between those responsible for interreligious dialogue in the Vatican and Shiite Muslims, and that fact alone draws attention to something which is easy to forget at a time when the talk is rather of upsurges of tension: there is an unspectacular continuity in relations between the leadership of the atholic church and Muslim institutions.

It was as long ago as 1974 that Pope Paul VI founded a commission for relations with the Muslims, which is part of the Council for Interreligious Dialogue. With the commission, Pope Paul was fulfilling the intentions of the Second Vatican Council, which, in an epochal declaration on the relations of the church to non-Christian religions, dedicated a whole chapter to the Muslims. The document calls on Christians and Muslims to make efforts towards mutual understanding and to work together for the protection and promotion of social justice, "moral values, and, not least, peace and freedom for all people."

An interesting nuance

A joint commission has existed since 2000, in which scholars from the Al-Azhar University in Cairo, which is authoritative in Sunni Islam, meet annually with the Papal Council for Interreligious Dialogue. The joint statement at the end of the commission's most recent meeting in February in Cairo declared that all religions respect "the dignity and honour of the human person without consideration of race, colour, religion or conviction".

Both sides committed themselves to promote "true respect for religions, beliefs, religious symbols, holy Books," and they appealed to the mass media to ensure that freedom of expression was not used as an excuse to offend religion or religious symbols. This issue is also included in the latest statement of the Pope and Shiite representatives; it calls on both sides to promote respect for the symbols "considered to be sacred." The statement also condemns the "derision of religious beliefs". An interesting nuance in the new statement is the point that an "adequate hermeneutical method" is needed to understand holy writings.

What next?

Against the background of these existing contacts between the Vatican and Muslim authorities, one can look forward with anticipation to the first meeting of the Catholic-Muslim Forum, scheduled for early November. The forum was founded following a meeting in the Vatican in March this year, which itself was the result of a letter written in October 2007 by 138 Muslim scholars from 43 countries to the pope and other representatives of the Christian churches.

The topic of the forthcoming meeting is to be "Love of God and neighbour." The Vatican-Shiite dialogue is also set to continue: another colloquium is planned for two years time in Tehran.

Rome is clearly trying to nurture relations with Islam and to go beyond the existing circles. There are issues which are of importance to both – not least concerning the protection of religious convictions and symbols against laicist tendencies. But it's unlikely that the alliance will be free of problems. The experience of Catholics in Muslim countries, which those in Rome are well aware of, argue against that.

Ulrich Ruh

© Neue Zürcher Zeitung / Qantara.de 2008

Ulrich Ruh is editor of the catholic monthly "Herder-Korrespondenz," published in Freiburg, Germany.

Translated from the German by Michael Lawton


Iran and the Pope
Easing Relations
The Vatican and leading Iranian theologians have reached agreement on a declaration on "Faith and Reason in Christianity and Islam." The paper sends out an important signal in terms of easing religious and political tensions. Reinhard Kleber reports

Interview with Maha Azzam
"No Religion Welcomes Ill-Informed Criticism of Its Tenets"
The protests of Muslims against the Pope's statement have widely been criticised as disproportionate. According to Maha Azzam, however, Islam and Muslims are being misrepresented. Lewis Gropp interviewed the London-based Islam expert

Jews, Christians and Muslims
Religious Dialogues in the Middle Ages
A recently published anthology on Religious dialogues in the Middle Ages investigates the search for a religious agreement between the three monotheistic religions. By Christian Hauck


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more from jimzbund

You see the glass as half empty....

by American Wife (not verified) on

I see it as half full.  Selection of certain words without regard to the whole context... no different than the media who misrepresents and distorts.   Those without faith will never understand... and that's cool.  I have no interest in converting anyone.  Opinions are like, well, you know... everyone has one.


The Pope

by jimzbund on

first off Christians don't consider islam as a religion nor Muhammad as a prophet to begin with !

Secondly, all therse dialogoes are meant to fool each other into accepting each other to try to convert each other ! all these guys want is to rule the world.

Thirdly, Jesus will become Muslim and stand behind Mahdi in prayer so what is the point of him returning ?

lastly, don't forget : Jesus is the only way and Oghteloo moshrekoon wherever you find them !!!


Bund, Jimz Bund


Yes, it WOULD be nice!

by Majid on

BUT...if it did not happen in the past 2000 years, let's not waste another 2000 seconds of our "TIME" on it.

"No one will argue that the worlds greatest atrocities have been done in the name of religion"

THAT'S IT...You just said it, no if's and but's.... Thank you


Wouldn't it be nice if

by American Wife (not verified) on

Wouldn't it be nice if religion could exist... or survive might be a better term... without the influence of man's ego... and abuse of power.  No one will argue that the worlds greatest atrocities have been done in the name of religion.  But can't it also be said that it's been man's greatest salvation as well? 



by ThePope on

Aaghaayeh bund, jimzbund thanx for sharing, the "good news"!

Also, I just want to add that Islam (shi'ia; followers, peyro OR sunni; traditionals, sonati) and christianity BOTH believe in the return of jesus. So, there's no dif.

As Camron says; these two religions are so close and have so much in common... A good relation between the two will be very good in many different aspects.

To Don Corlione's mommy: your sarcastic "joint Vatican-Tehran Mafia" comment, may be funny or even true!!! But, as American Wife replied; that is soooo not nice...

Aaghaaeh Ali Reza: be more optimistic, please. And who says The Pope has a dislike for the Muslims???!! Not this "Pope" at least! :)



Yeah right!

by Ali reza (not verified) on

Leader of Iran Shia have their vision and their vision to to spread the Shia branch of Islam.The catholic leaders have their own vision which is probably something as Shia.If they are having a dialog it is only temporary and may be it is for public consumptions.You could see the dislike that the pope has for Muslims by the quote that he made from an old book. Peace on Earth


That's really cool! It's

by Camron (not verified) on

That's really cool! It's about time they focused on similarities rather than differences. These religions have so much more in common than people think. After all, Moses and Jesus are mentioned more times in the Quran than Muhammad.


to American Wife

by jimzbund on

 the article speaks for itself and since I didn't do any spying I didn't add any comments ! catholics and Shittes are the most fanatic religious sects in the world and seeing them talking makes me laugh as they both want to rule the world one with returned Jesus and the other one with returned Mahdi .This is a marriage of convenience for them to fool the other one into believing in tolerance. They both have bloods of Millions on their hands.


Bund, Jimz Bund , the Perzhian Huzband


that is sooo not nice...:-)

by American Wife (not verified) on

that is soooo not nice...:-)


what it says is

by Don Corlione's mother-in-law (not verified) on

that the joint Vatican-Tehran Mafia meeting went well and they decided they can indeed agree on many things. The heroin and opium and other drugs will be transported and liquidated on a 50/50 basis with Turkey getting her lion share of the deal.

All is well in the religious front.


Jimz... the whole article

by American Wife (not verified) on

Jimz... the whole article is pasted from qantara.  Just curious as to what your point is... are you making a statement regarding the whole thing?  :-)