Early this month, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and the Amman-based Royal Institute for Interfaith Studies held a conference examining “shared values in social and political life” between Muslims and Christians. Pope Francis met with attendees, and said his visit to Jordan in 2014 was “a beautiful memory that I carry with me.”
Canadian ambassador to the Holy See Anne Leahy talked about the important values that Muslims and Christians share and said that during the conference “there was a meeting of minds.” She continued, “We hear too much about what our differences are. [So it’s important] to witness that there are basic values we share that can counter the negativity.”
Senior leaders from the Muslim community and Catholic Church issued this eight-point joint statement reflecting their shared beliefs:
1. We share beliefs and moral values. Our commonalities are much more than our particularities, and they constitute a solid basis peacefully and fruitfully living together, also with persons of good will who do not profess a particular religion.
2. We believe in the humanising and civilising role of our religions, when their followers adhere to their principles of worshipping God and loving and caring for the other.
3. We believe that God bestowed upon every person dignity and inalienable rights. They are His gifts that should be recognised, guaranteed and protected by law.
4. We pledge our solidarity with our brothers and sisters in humanity who are in any kind of need regardless of their ethnic, religious or cultural background.
5. Our help to the poor and the needy should be offered out of compassion and for the sake of God’s favour. It should never be used to proselytise.
6. We believe that the youth represent not only the future of humanity. They are also an important part of its present. They have the right to proper education that prepares them to be good citizens respectful of diversity.
7. Our world, our “common home”, is going through many complicated crises and needs the steady efforts of its inhabitants to make it a suitable place where we can live together peacefully, sharing the resources of the universe, mindful of future generations.
8. We express our proximity and solidarity with all those who suffer, especially from violence and armed conflict. Respect for international law, dialogue, justice, mercy, compassion are values and adequate means to achieve peace and harmony.