Written By: Joseph V.
History is the reminder of our human imperative to live in solidarity with each other and the consequences of failing to do so.
This month, Francis, the Bishop of Rome, traveled to Saudi Arabia and became the first Catholic Pontiff to set foot on Islam’s homeland. There he engaged in interfaith dialogue with some of Islam’s top religious authorities, including the Grand Imam of al-Azhar (Ahmed El-Tayeb) and many prestigious Allamah scholars. Together, Jorge Bergoglio (Francis) and Ahmed El-Tayeb, the highest authority in Sunni Islam, signed a “Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together.”
The document stated in no uncertain terms their dedication to peaceful and fraternal human solidarity. They condemned of all acts that interfered with people’s lives from its natural beginning to natural death. They declared that women’s rights were to be protected everywhere, discouraged the use of the term “minority” as one that fostered isolation and discrimination, and were united in their desire for peaceful and open dialogue between world religions.
The centuries of fratricidal bloodshed appear to be drawing to a close. God speed.