VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Christians and Muslims believe that freedom of conscience and religion are the most important human rights and, “therefore, our collective duty demands that we respect, preserve and promote such rights,” said members of the Catholic-Muslim Forum.
The forum was established in 2008 by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and an international group of Muslim scholars who had signed “A Common Word,” an open letter to then-Pope Benedict XVI and other Christian leaders urging a dialogue based on values the two faiths hold in common.
The fourth meeting of the forum was held Nov. 6-8 in Berkeley, California. The Vatican released the conclusions of the meeting Nov. 10.
Christianity and Islam both teach that “God bestowed on every human being inalienable dignity from which fundamental human rights are derived, as well as the obligation of governments to protect them,” the participants said.
“We assert the equal dignity and value of all persons irrespective of their race, gender, religion or social status,” they said, “and we categorically condemn any attempts to stereotype any people or attribute collective guilt to them for the actions of individuals among them.”
Of those rights, they said, “freedom of conscience and of religion resides at the peak,” and so all believers have an obligation to uphold them.
Participants also said their religions have “moral, intellectual and spiritual resources” that can help individuals and communities develop and grow in a way that respects all people and protects the environment.
“We believe that insecurity, conflicts and the proliferation of armaments constitute grave obstacles to the realization of God’s will for humanity, its well-being and growth in peace and security,” they said. “This is why we consider it our moral obligation to denounce wars and the arms trade that facilitates them, and instead use humanity’s resources for our personal and collective flourishing.”
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103