Vatican Information Service
CHRISTIANS AND MUSLIMS: TOGETHER IN OVERCOMING POVERTY
VATICAN CITY, 11 SEP 2009 (VIS) - The Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue today published its annual Message to Muslims for the end of the month of Ramadan. The Message is signed by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran and Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata, respectively president and secretary of the council, and has as its theme this year (1430 AH / 2009 AD): "Christians and Muslims: Together in overcoming poverty".
The Message has been published in twenty-four languages. Excerpts from the English version are given below.
"This message of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue has become a tradition cherished by us all, which is looked forward to each year and this is certainly a cause for joy. It has become, over the years, an occasion of cordial encounter in many countries between many Christians and Muslims. It often addresses a matter of shared concern, making it therefore conducive to a confident and open exchange. Are not all these elements immediately perceived as signs of friendship among us for which we should thank God?"
"....As believers, the desire to work together for a just and durable solution to the scourge of poverty certainly also implies reflecting on the grave problems of our time and, when possible, sharing a common commitment to eradicate them".
"A careful study of the complex phenomenon of poverty directs us precisely towards its origin in the lack of respect for the innate dignity of the human person and calls us to a global solidarity, for example through the adoption of a 'common ethical code' whose norms would not only have a conventional character, but also would necessarily be rooted in the natural law written by the Creator in the conscience of every human being.
"It seems that in diverse places of the world we have passed from tolerance to a meeting together, beginning with common lived experience and real shared concerns. This is an important step forward".
The president of Universal Society of Hinduism, Rajan Zed pointed out that world religions should develop a global partnership to stamp out hunger and poverty, promote gender parity, battle AIDS and other diseases, bring about environment sustainability and ensure universal basic education. Zed stressed that religions needed to redouble their efforts in poverty eradication as poverty and suffering were more pervasive than previously estimated. Economics, politics and markets should also take an ethical approach.
See also: Evangelicals Echo Pope's Call for Globalization
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