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Newly-appointed Vatican official reflects on interreligious dialogue

CWN - September 03, 2012

Father Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, who was appointed Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue on June 30, reflected on his work in a brief interview with L’Osservatore Romano. The Spanish-born Comboni missionary priest, who professed perpetual vows in 1980 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1982, had served as president of the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies since 2006.

“Although interreligious dialogue is not concerned with political issues, it can make a specific contribution to the recognition of the values that are at the root of justice and peace, both within the country and in relations with other states,” he said.

“The Pope has honored me with this appointment, which was absolutely unexpected,” he continued. “I am infinitely grateful to him for having thought of a common missionary for this office. However, I am aware that it is a sensitive role.”

“I have to say that through study and experience I am quite well acquainted with Muslims, with whom the Catholic Church wishes to have a dialogue, in many ways and in many places,” Father Guixot added. “Islam is a situation to which we must pay special attention, without neglecting other believers. And all this confirms the importance that Benedict XVI attributes to Islamic-Christian relations.”

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