Loading
Catholic and Muslim leaders meet for dialogue on secularism
By Estefania Aguirre
From left to right: Cardinal Angelo Scola, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Archbishop Ghaleb Moussa Bader, Sayyid Jawad al-Khoei. June 17, 2013. OASIS Conference in Milan, Italy. Credit: Lauren Cater
From left to right: Cardinal Angelo Scola, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Archbishop Ghaleb Moussa Bader, Sayyid Jawad al-Khoei. June 17, 2013. OASIS Conference in Milan, Italy. Credit: Lauren Cater

.- The members of a foundation seeking to improve Christian and Muslim relations met in Milan this week to discuss the growing problems of global secularism and extremism.

“Secularism and ideology are two problems for Christians and Muslims today, in different ways maybe, but the topic is the same,” Maria Laura Conte, editorial director of Oasis International Foundation, told CNA June 17.

“We want the West and East to share experiences,” she added.

Experts met June 17 and 18 at the University of Milan to discuss the tightrope between secularism and ideology so often walked in both the West and the Middle East. This was the tenth annual meeting of the Oasis International Foundation.

“Through meetings like this where people can share their experiences, we can build a piece of this dialogue every day,” Conte said.

Speakers came from a wide variety of nations, including Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Morocco, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Pakistan, the United States, France and Italy.

They included Cardinal Angelo Scola, archbishop of Milan and the network’s founder; Sami M. Angawi, president of al-Makkiyah al-Madaniyah Institution in Saudi Arabia; La Sorbonne professor Rémi Brague; Cardinal John O. Onaiyekan, archbishop of Abuja; and Jawad al-Khoei, a Shia leader from Iraq.

Cardinal Scola founded Oasis in 2004, after he was asked to do so by seven bishops of Damascus while he was rector of the Pontifical Lateran University.

The Damascene bishops hoped for cultural support in the midst of Syrian society, and the foundation has served as a forum for inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue.

The Knights of Columbus have been supporting the Foundation since its creation ten years ago.

Carl Anderson, head of the Knights, called on Americans to “have some solidarity” and “extend a helping hand” to Christian communities in predominantly Muslim countries.

“If we don’t want Christian communities to disappear altogether, we’re going to have to spend more effort and greater attention to their plight and begin to develop ways of solidarity,” Anderson said at the conference June 17.

Anderson, who is a member of  Oasis, noted that “the first thing is a recognition that there is a crisis in many countries and we have an obligation to respond to that crisis.”

“I hope Americans are more and more aware, because the situation in many countries is very difficult now,” he told CNA/EWTN News. “We Americans, have to redouble our commitment to religious liberty.”

He stressed the need to “understand that in many places of the world, even if we don’t hear about it, the test of the free exercise of religion is going on in various strenuous conditions.”
 
“It’s requiring many people to make great sacrifices, day in and day out.”

Anderson's comments were echoed by Cardinal Scola, who asked that Christians in the West show “love and support” to their brothers in the Middle East.

Tags: Islam, Dialogue, Secularism


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

A Look at India from Rome
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
Jul
31

Liturgical Calendar

July 31, 2014

Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Priest

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:47-53

Gospel
Date
07/31/14
07/30/14
07/29/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 18: 1-6
Gospel:: Mt 13: 47-53

Saint of the Day

St. Ignatius of Loyola »

Saint
Date
07/28/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:47-53

Homily
Date
07/31/14
07/30/14
07/29/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: