Thursday, 1 May 2008

Vatican Meeting with Iranian Islamic Organization


VATICAN CITY, 30 APR 2008 (VIS) - Following today's general audience, Benedict XVI received participants in the sixth meeting of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue and the Islamic Culture and Relations Organisation of Tehran, Iran. They have been meeting to study the theme of: "Faith and Reason in Christianity and Islam".

The participants in the meeting, led by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, and by Mahdi Mostafavi, president of the Islamic Culture and Relations Organisation, agreed upon the following points:

"Faith and reason are both gifts of God to mankind.

"Faith and reason do not contradict each other, but faith might in some cases be above reason, but never against it.

"Faith and reason are intrinsically non-violent. Neither reason nor faith should be used for violence; unfortunately, both of them have been sometimes misused to perpetrate violence. In any case, these events cannot question either reason or faith.

"Both sides agreed to further co-operate in order to promote genuine religiosity, in particular spirituality, to encourage respect for symbols considered to be sacred and to promote moral values.

"Christians and Muslims should go beyond tolerance, accepting differences, while remaining aware of commonalties and thanking God for them. They are called to mutual respect, thereby condemning derision of religious beliefs.

"Generalisation should be avoided when speaking of religions. Differences of confessions with Christianity and Islam, diversity of historical contexts are important factors to be considered.

"Religious traditions cannot be judged on the basis of a single verse or a passage present in their respective holy Books. A holistic vision as well as an adequate hermeneutical method is necessary for a fair understanding of them".