Catholics Must Reach Out to Islam

January 14, 2004

Source: National Catholic Reporter

On January 14, 2004 the National Catholic Reporter reported, "The Roman Catholic church has the opportunity to clarify the relationship among the three Abrahamic faiths by making a minor change within its administrative structure. Currently, Catholic-Jewish relations are handled by the Council for Promoting Christian Unity, while Catholic-Muslim relations are dealt with through the Council for Interreligious Dialogue... Having Catholic-Muslim relations handled by this more general department does not help Catholic Christians to see a close relationship among the three religions that trace the beginning of their covenant with God to the figure of Abraham. The continuing conflict between Palestinians and Israelis, and the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, have both demonstrated the need for greater interreligious discussion. In the former case, careful assessment of the data indicates the crisis is not the result of religious differences; it is not warfare between Judaism and Islam. Participants and commentators are invoking religious arguments and analyses to discuss what is actually a political struggle. Perhaps a statement of close relationship during this crisis could help toward a peaceful resolution."