The pope asks for the promotion of dialogue with Islam to get beyond prejudices

Source: FSSPX News


Pope John-Paul II has encouraged Catholics living in countries with a Muslim majority to promote dialogue with their Muslim brethren and to be signs of God’s love through aid to persons in need.

Interreligious dialogue, declared the pope in an audience with the bishops of the Episcopal Conference of the Region of North Africa, must be “pursued with patience and determination, to get past mutual mistrust and to learn to serve the common good of humanity together.” The bishops of Maghreb concluded their five-year Ad Limina visit to the pope and the Roman Curia with this audience.

The pope noted “the positive nature of relations” between Christians and the Muslim population in their countries and “the good will of the civil authorities toward the Church”. “All this is possible thanks to mutual understanding, the daily encounters of life and exchanges, notably between families”, clarified the pope.

He further instructed them to “continue to encourage these encounters on a day-to-day basis as a priority, for they contribute to the evolution of ways of thinking, on both sides and help bypass the ready-made ideas which the media still too often propose”.

“Accompanied by official dialogues, which are important and necessary, they create new bonds between religions, cultures and above all people, and they increase among everyone the esteem for religious liberty and mutual respect, which are fundamental elements of personal and social life”, he explained.

The Holy Father also evoked the “dramatic events experienced by the Christian community and shared by the Muslim population”. He did not cite specifics but in the 90’s the Algerian Catholic community was the victim of a series of assaults including the one that took the lives of seven monks of the monastery of Our Lady of Atlas, in Thibirine (May 1996) and the assault on the bishop of Oran, Pierre Claverie (August 5 1996).

We must recall that at this time the perpetrators of the murder of these seven monks have still not been found and most likely never will be. While Islam becomes more and more aggressive, the promotion of dialogue with this false religion becomes a veritable mystery of iniquity. To anyone who ponders this even briefly, it is clear that we are headed toward a confrontation between the disciples of Christ and the sectarian followers of Muhammad. What form will this conflict take? It is difficult to say, except that we can note the risk of an alarming increase in martyrdoms. But what is urgently needed is the conversion of the Muslims, not a dialogue with the executioners.