Best time to build Christian-Muslim relations: expert

July 21, 2017 by  
Filed under India, newsletter-india

New Delhi, July 20, 2017: An expert on Islam told an inter-religious gathering here that “this is the best time” for Christians and Muslims to build relation as Pope Francis has been leading the Church for inter-faith actions from front.

Capuchin Father Michael D. Calabria, director of the center for Arab and Islamic studies in St. Bonaventure University based in New York, was addressing a July 17 seminar at India Islamic Cultural Centre in New Delhi.

Some 100 selected leaders from Christian, Muslim and Hindu religions attended the program organized by Interfaith Coalition for Peace, which also includes Catholic organizations and leaders.

Father Calabria told the gathering that he sees this as “best time” not only for “Christians and Muslims to come together” and but also for “inter-faith dialogues” because Pope Francis as leader of the Catholic Church encourages such action as no other pope did in history.

Pope Francis has “gone out of his way” to welcome people of other faiths, including Muslims, in the liturgical acts such as washing of the feet ceremony and set an example, the priest said while delivering his lecture on the theme “Pope Francis and Muslims.”

Pope Francis practices what he preaches and encourages the Church to be open to the poor, without discriminating them on the basis of religion. He also despises violence but does not see it as attached to any particular religion.

Jesuit Father Victor Edwin of Vidyajyoti College of theology told that “the world has accepted Pope Francis as symbol of mercy and peace. As Catholics, it is our turn to practice what the Pope preaches.”

Father Edwin, director of Vidyajyoti Institute of Islamic Studies and Secretary of Christian-Muslim Relations South Asia, said they regularly participate in such seminars so that “we can renew our commitment towards our community.”

– ucan

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