VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Although he has led the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue since May, Cardinal-designate Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot dedicated his religious life to building a bridge between Catholics and Muslims.
The Spanish cardinal-designate was among 13 prelates from around the world whose names were announced Sept. 1 as new cardinals by Pope Francis during his midday Angelus address.
Born in Seville, Spain, in 1952, he joined the Comboni Missionaries and was ordained a priest in 1980 after professing his vows. In addition to a degree from the Pontifical Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies, he has more than 20 years of pastoral experience in Egypt and Sudan.
During his time in Egypt, he served as a professor of Islamic history in Khartoum and in Cairo before returning to Rome in 2002. Three years later, he was appointed president of the Pontifical Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies.
In 2012, Pope Benedict XVI appointed then-Father Ayuso secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. Pope Francis named him a bishop in 2016.
Most notably, he was instrumental in restarting talks in 2013 between the Vatican and Al-Azhar University, Sunni Islam’s main theological center. The Muslim university suspended the talks in 2011 following a series of remarks made by Pope Benedict.
The culmination of the dialogue was the signing of a document Feb. 4 on promoting “human fraternity” and Christian-Muslim understanding by Pope Francis and Egyptian Sheikh Ahmad el-Tayeb, grand imam of al-Azhar, during the pope’s visit to Abu Dhabi.
In an interview with Vatican News Feb. 7, then-Bishop Ayuso said he hoped the signing of the document would inspire other leaders to advance the cause of peace.
“The message of brotherhood is very clear, that is why I hope the international community can accept it for the good of the human family,” he said. “It is important that civil authorities, social groups, every citizen, every man and woman of goodwill can echo this message proclaimed by the declaration in their hearts, their lives and their surroundings.”
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of 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 and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103