.- As the Muslim holy period of Ramada came to close, the President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald reaffirmed the Church’s desire to enter into deeper dialogue with Muslims and he said he hoped that together with Christians they could live “in sincere brotherhood.” “Let us show that as Christians and Muslims we can live together in sincere brotherhood, always striving to fulfill the will of the Merciful God, who has created humanity to be one family,” said Archbishop Fitzgerald in the traditional message to Muslims at the conclusion of Ramadan.
In his message, the archbishop expressed his “best wishes for a joyous festivity” to the Muslim world. After emphasizing the commitment and relevance of Pope John Paul II in the dialogue with Muslims—which was evident in the homage many Muslim leaders paid him during the Pope’s funeral in April of 2005—Archbishop Fitzgerald made mention of the greeting Pope Benedict XVI extended to Muslims at the beginning of his pontificate.
“I am grateful in particular for the presence among us of the members of the Muslim community, and I express my appreciation for the progress in the dialogue between Muslims and Christians, both at the local and the international level. I assure you that the Church desires to continue building bridges of friendship with the followers of all religious, in order to seek the true good of each person and of the whole of society,” the Pope said on that occasion.
It has become tradition that the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue sends a message to Muslims at the conclusion of Ramadan. Although it is generally the President of that dicastery who signs the message, during the First Gulf War in 1991, the message was signed by Pope John Paul II. On that occasion, he affirmed the need for “a sincere, profound and constant dialogue between believing Catholics and believing Muslims, from which could arise a greater knowledge and reciprocal trust.”