Pope Francis conveys good wishes on advent of Ramadan, denounces terrorist attack in Egypt

Pope Francis conveys good wishes on advent of Ramadan, denounces terrorist attack in Egypt

By Fr. Rif’at Bader

The Catholic Center for Studies and Media (CCSM) in Jordan on Saturday, May 27, released the good-wishes message which the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue in the Vatican has issued marking the advent of the holy month of Ramadan, as well as the condolences message sent by His Holiness Pope Francis to Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Sisi in which he expressed his condemnation of the brutal attack on innocent Copts who were heading to pray in one of the monasteries of Minya.

The CCSM states that His Holiness Pope Francis denounced the barbaric attack as well as the tragic loss of life and the injury caused by this senseless act of hatred against Copts who were heading for prayer. He also expressed his heartfelt solidarity with all those affected by this violent outrage including the grieving families, all who have been injured, and the children who have lost their lives. He also commended the souls of the deceased to the mercy of the Almighty and pledged his continued intercession for peace and reconciliation throughout the nation.

The CCSM statement adds that the Vatican’s release of the annual well-wishing message, marking the advent of the holy month of Ramadan by Secretary of Interreligious Dialogue Bishop Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, is timely and of great significance, since 50 years ago the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue was established in order to reinforce dialogue with Muslims and to share common grounds in the face of the challenges facing the entire human family particularly at this time when terrorism, disguised with alleged sanctity, strikes many regions around the world and lacks any insight in religious education and morality.

The CCSM draws attention to the issue highlighted this year by the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue which is related to His Holiness Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter, Laudato Sì, On the Care for Our Common Home, where His Holiness refers to the damage caused by “our lifestyle and environmental decisions to ourselves and to our brethren in humanity.” There are for example some philosophical, religious and cultural views that threaten the relations between humanity and nature, as he stressed that facing this challenge is a matter the concerns the entire human family.

The CCSM statement quotes the message of His Holiness as saying that the environmental crisis witnessed by the world nowadays is “a call for a profound penance”. What we need to be able to confront this challenge in a suitable way is education as well as spiritual openness and comprehensive penance. For as believers, our relationship with God should be manifested increasingly in the way we deal with the world around us. He stressed that we are called upon to be guardians of God’s creatures since this is not an optional issue, with regards to our religious commitment as Christians and Muslims, but rather an essential one.

The CCSM in Jordan reiterates the Ramadan message of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue by conveying good wishes on the advent of the holy month of Ramadan, asking the Almighty God to overwhelm all believers and fasting people with joy, tranquility and the spiritual fruits filled with love for God and the entire humanity.

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