Vatican, Palestine to form a joint working group for dialogue

Vatican, Palestine to form a joint working group for dialogue

Amman-en.abouna.org and Vatican Radio

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue issued a press release on Wednesday, December 6, marking the establishment of a joint working group for dialogue with the
Palestinian Commission for Interreligious Dialogue.

Following is the text of the press release:

On Tuesday, 5 December 2017, a meeting took place in Rome between the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and the Palestinian Commission for Interreligious Dialogue.

The delegation of Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue was headed by His Eminence Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President. The Palestinians Commission for Interreligious Dialogue was headed by H.E. Shaykh Mahmoud Al-Habbash, Supreme Judge of the State of Palestine and President of the same commission.

The other participants from the Pontifical Council of Interreligious Dialogue were H.E. Bishop Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot, Secretary, and Monsignor Khalid Akasheh, Bureau Chief of Islam.

The other members of the Palestinian Delegation were H.E. Mr. Ziad Al-Bandak, Minister and Counsellor of the President for Church Affairs, H.E. Mr. Adnan Al-Husseini, Governor of Jerusalem and Member of the Higher Islamic Council, H.E. Mr. Issa Kassissieh, Ambassador of the State of Palestine to the Holy See, and Mr. Ammar Al-Nisnas, Counsellor of the Embassy.

The two sides decided to establish a joint working group for dialogue through the signature of a memorandum of understanding.

The two delegations were pleased to meet with his Holiness Pope Francis on Wednesday, December 6, who expressed his joy for the establishment of the Joint Working Group, wishing it success in its mission.

Pope Francis greets Palestinian delegation

In another development, before his General Audience on Wednesday, December 6, Pope Francis greeted a Palestinian delegation hosted by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

Speaking to those gathered, the Pope told them that it was his hope “that your consultations may help open a space of sincere dialogue for the benefit of all the members of Palestinian society, and the Christian community in particular, given its small numbers and the challenges it faces, especially with regard to emigration.”

The Holy Father emphasized that, “for the Catholic Church, it is always a joy to build bridges of dialogue with communities, individuals and organizations, adding that it was a particular joy to do so with Palestinian religious and intellectual leaders.”

Dialogue, said the Pope, “takes place at every level: with ourselves through reflection and prayer, in our families, in our religious communities, between different religious communities, and also in civil society.”

He noted that the primary condition of that dialogue was “reciprocal respect and a commitment to strengthening that respect, for the sake of recognizing the rights of all people, wherever they happen to be.”

The Pope remarked that The Holy Land was for Christians “the land par excellence of dialogue between God and mankind.” He also highlighted the fact that the culmination of this dialogue took place in Nazareth between the Angel Gabriel and the Virgin Mary.

The Holy Father went on to say, “that dialogue continues in a unique way between Jesus and his people, in representation of humanity as a whole.”

Concluding his greeting, Pope Francis recalled the “kindness that the Authorities of the State of Palestine, who he said, “have shown to the Christian community, acknowledging its place and its role in Palestinian society.”

Wed, 12/06/2017 - 14:28
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