This message, issued by the Holy See’s Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue , has been released one month after the visit carried out by Pope Francis to fraternal Iraq, where he held a special symbolic prayer at the Chaldean town of Ur with representatives of the various religions in Iraq, based on the fact that Ur is the birthplace of the Prophet Abraham, the father of the believers who enjoys special reverence from various religions called Abrahamic. Furthermore, the visit takes place on the heels of the important encyclical of Pope Francis, titled “Fratelli Tutti” which means “all brothers and sisters”. This encyclical included the gist of his thoughts by calling for universal brotherhood among humans in an endeavor to help the world find solutions to the dilemmas of all humankind.
The message is titled, 'Christians and Muslims: Witnesses of Hope'. It states, that “during these long months of suffering, anguish and sorrow, especially during the lockdown periods, we sensed our need for divine assistance, but also for expressions and gestures of fraternal solidarity: a telephone call, a message of support and comfort, a prayer, help in buying medicines or food, advice, and, to put it simply, the security of knowing that someone is always there for us in times of necessity.” It adds, “The divine assistance that we need and seek, especially in circumstances like those of the current pandemic, is manifold: God’s mercy, pardon, providence and other spiritual and material gifts. Yet, what we need most in these times, is hope.”
The message address human fraternity, in its numerous manifestations, thus becomes a source of hope for all, especially for those in any kind of need. Thanks be to God our Creator, and to our fellow men and women, for the quick response and generous solidarity shown by believers and also persons of good will with no religious affiliation in times of disaster, whether natural or man-made, like conflicts and wars. All these persons and their goodness remind us, believers, that the spirit of fraternity is universal, and that it transcends all boundaries, namely ethnic, religious, social and economic. In adopting this spirit, we imitate God, who looks benevolently upon the humanity He created, upon all other creatures and upon the entire universe.
The Vatican message this Ramadan refers to the enemies of hope and sets examples, namely lack of faith in God’s love and care; loss of trust in our brothers and sisters; pessimism; despair and its opposite, unfounded presumption; unfair generalizations based on one’s own negative experiences, and so forth. That is why these harmful thoughts, attitudes and reactions must be effectively countered so as to strengthen hope in God and trust in all our brothers and sisters.
The message concludes stating, “We, Christians and Muslims, are called to be bearers of hope, for the present life and for the life to come, and to be witnesses, restorers and builders of this hope, especially for those experiencing difficulties and despair.”
In conclusion, I seize this opportunity to extend my best wishes, on behalf of the Catholic Center for Studies and Media, to the extended Jordanian family on the advent of the month of Ramadan--which coincides with celebrations marking Jordan’s centenary under the leadership of His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein and His Crown Prince His Royal Highness Prince Al Hussein-- and to all Muslim brethren in the world. I also hope that this Ramadan will be a month of goodness and blessing, and that the Almighty God would bless humanity and restore hope for a return to normal life after the end of the Corona epidemic so that the sick would be healed, the dead would receive mercy, and the grieved would be consoled.