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Former Vatican envoy lauds papal outreach to Muslims

September 12, 2013

The Vatican’s former diplomatic representative to the Arab League has called attention to public comments in which Pope Francis has referred to Muslims as his “brothers.”

The use of “brothers” is particularly significant, Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald told La Stampa, because some Christians—notably including Pope Benedict XVI—use “brothers” only in reference to other Christians. Archbishop Fitzgerald saw the use of the term by Pope Francis as a major step forward in relations between Christians and Muslims. He observed, however, that Pope John Paul II used the same language.

Archbishop Fitzgerald was appointed president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue by Pope John Paul II in 2002. He was the first leading Vatican official to be reassigned by Pope Benedict XVI, being named apostolic nuncio to Egypt and delegate to the Arab League. His resignation was accepted in 2012 shortly after his 75th birthday.


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  • Posted by: Defender - Sep. 12, 2013 11:03 PM ET USA

    Wishful thinking.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Sep. 12, 2013 7:07 PM ET USA

    This is all very nice, but the real question is will this stop Muslims from killing their newfound "brothers" around the globe? John Paul II's use of the term does not seem to have improved matters much to date.