New York: Document on Human Fraternity Committee holds two meetings

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New York: Document on Human Fraternity Committee holds two meetings

By Sr Bernadette Mary Reis/vaticannews.va

The Higher Committee that will implement the Document on Human Fraternity is meeting in New York. They spoke with members of the press on Friday.

Beginning on Friday,September 21, the members of the Higher Committee to implement the Document on Human Fraternity are meeting for the second time in New York City. Their first meeting took place in Rome on 11 September, the 18th anniversary of the attacks on the Twin Towers in New York City. In his remarks to the group, Pope Francis noted the significance of the manifestation of the desire to promote life and fraternity being made on the same date as others had chosen to sow death and destruction.

WHY NEW YORK?
Several members of the Higher Committee took time out of their busy day on Friday to meet with journalists. Committee member Judge Mohamed Mahmoud Abdel Salam noted that choosing to hold the second meeting in New York, the Committee wanted to highlight the document’s global reach as world leaders converge on New York City for the opening of the 74th Session of the United Nations. The Committee, the Judge said, is willing to work with any nation who is open to the ideals expressed in the Document. He added that the first steps have been made with the UN Secretary General toward possible adoption of the Document by the United Nations. The Secretary General “is going to request member States to include the principles contained in this historical document in their local legislation”, the Judge said.

LANGUAGE OF LOVE
Committee member Rabbi Bruce Lustig said the Document on Human Fraternity is a “watershed…so inclusive, so powerful, and so important in its message of hope and… the responsibility of all people of the human family.” Although the document has already been translated into many languages, the Committee hopes that it will be translated into all of the world’s languages. Rabbi Lustig emphasized that the Document “is only written in one language, the language of love…the language of human fraternity”. Translations, he said, will help ensure that we all “speak in that one language”.

UAE BRINGS WORLD CULTURE TOGETHER
Committee member Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak calls the Document the “most important declaration signed in the modern day”. The role the United Arab Emirates has played, both as the place where the Document was signed, and for its initiative in creating a Committee to implement the Document’s values and vision is an extension of the UAE’s contribution as a “beacon of light” in the region and a place that tries to “bring world cultures together”.

ABRAHIMIC FAMILY HOUSE
Friday’s meeting also included the presentation of the Abrahamic Family House to be constructed in Abu Dhabi. Announced in February by Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince, the initiative will embody the ideals of the Document on Human Fraternity, housing a church, a synagogue and a mosque -- a landmark -- but also a transformation in human history because, as Committee member Msgr. Gaid explained, it will turn what has been used in the past as a means of division among peoples into a point of contact.

The COMMITTEE HOLDS FIRST MEETING

The first public event hosted by the Higher Committee implementing the Document on Human Fraternity took place at the New York City Public Library on Friday, bringing together hundreds of people from different religious and cultural backgrounds.

TIME FOR POSITIVE PROPOSALS
Committee President, Cardinal-Elect Miguel Ayuso, expressed that the Holy See has done so much to counteract evil. Now, he said, it is time “to propose in a positive way that the human family can live fraternally together”. Being on the Committee is a culmination of what has been his life work: “creating dialogue in order to overcome fear in hearts and souls”, he said.

HEALING A FRACTURED WORLD
Newly added to the Committee, Rabbi Bruce Lustig spoke about the importance of the Document and the Committee who will be actualizing it. It was incredible, he said, to see two world religious leaders sign a document which is a watershed in bringing Jews, Christians and Muslims together. He added that the members of the Committee are dedicated to bring healing to a fractured world.

Greatest declaration signed in recent history
His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak is also a member of the Committee, represented the United Arab Emirates. He commented on the fact that in a world where so much divides, the UAE is committed to uniting. As a beacon of light, the UAE wants to shed light in a dark world and has taken a stand through bringing the Document on Human Fraternity to the light. That declaration, he said, “is the greatest signed in recent days”.

THREE CHURCHES, ONE FOUNDATION
Sir David Adjaye Obe presented the architectural plans for the Abrahamic Family House. This will be the first concrete implementation of the Document on Human Fraternity. Plans to build a church, a mosque and a synagogue in Abu Dhabi are already under way, he said. Three different houses of worship will be united with a single foundation around a garden—an image that has important significance in each of the world’s three major religions. These three places of worship will be contemporary in their design while remaining faithful to the narrative of each religion, Sr David explained.

PROJECT UNVEILED
As promised, the evening ended with the unveiling of a model of the Abrahamic Family House. The spirit of human fraternity that it is meant to inspire, however, is already at work among the guests who left the event enriched by the contact they made with other people from different cultural and religious backgrounds.

Sun, 09/22/2019 - 09:57
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