Religious leaders must live out their beliefs through teaching and good example, conclude Catholic and Muslim leaders


Catholics and Muslims meeting at the Vatican this week discussed the responsibilities of religious leaders during times of crisis, agreeing that their most important responsibility is to faithfully live out their beliefs through "teaching, good deeds and example."

The religious leaders met as part of the 11th Colloquium organized by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and the World Islamic Call Society (WICS) in order to discuss the responsibilities of religious leaders during times of crisis.

After meeting with the Holy Father briefly after today’s general audience, the participants agreed upon the following conclusions:

First, the most important responsibility of religious leaders during times of crisis is to faithfully live out their religious beliefs through "teaching, good deeds and example, thus serving their communities for the glory of God," participants in the colloquium decided.

Religious leaders should also have a "cultural and social role to play in promoting fundamental ethical values, such as justice, solidarity, peace, social harmony and the common good of society as a whole, especially the needy, the weak, migrants and the oppressed," they continued.

The leaders also came to the conclusion that they cannot overlook their special responsibility toward the youth, so they "do not fall victim to religious fanaticism and radicalism, receiving rather, a sound education thereby helping them to become bridge builders and peace makers."

Finally, the religious leaders noted that they must pay particular attention to interreligious relations on both the national and international level to avoid religious violence. "This requires a mutual respect and reciprocal knowledge, both cherishing personal relations and building confidence and mutual trust, so as to be able to confront together crises when they occur."