Muslims around the world will soon be celebrating the end of Ramadan, the month during which they fast and devote themselves to more frequent worship and acts of charity. As it does every year, the Pontifical council for Inter-Religious Dialogue published its message, which urges Muslims to work with Christians in defense of the family.
Entitled, "Christians and Muslims: Together for the dignity of the family," the message addressed to all Muslims was signed by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran and Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata, respectively president and secretary of the council.
"During this month Christians close to you have shared your reflections and your family celebrations; dialogue and friendship have been strengthened. Praise be to God!" the message beings.
"This friendly rendezvous gives us an opportunity to reflect together on a mutually topical subject which will enrich our exchange and help us to get to know each other better, in our shared values as well as in our differences: the subject of the family.”
Citing the Vatican II document, “Gaudium et Spes,” the message asserts that the well-being of society depends on the “healthy condition” of marriage and the family.
The pontifical council goes on to ask, “How many people carry, sometimes for the whole of their life, the weight of the wounds of a difficult or dramatic family background? How many men and women now in the abyss of drugs or violence are vainly seeking to make up for a traumatic childhood?”
Undeniably, “Christians and Muslims can and must work together to safeguard the dignity of the family, today and in the future,” the letter continues.
"Muslims and Christians must never hesitate, not only to come to the aid of families in difficulty, but also to collaborate with all those who support the stability of the family as an institution and the exercise of parental responsibility, in particular in the field of education. I need only remind you that the family is the first school in which one learns respect for others, mindful of the identity and the difference of each one. Inter- religious dialogue and the exercise of citizenship cannot but benefit from this,” the message says.
The fast of Ramadan will conclude with the sighting of the new moon, and as that event approaches, Cardinal Tauran and Archbishop Celata write: “Dear friends, now that your fast comes to an end, I hope that you, with your families and those close to you, purified and renewed by those practices dear to your religion, may know serenity and prosperity in your life! May Almighty God fill you with His Mercy and Peace!”