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Pope on Catholic-Muslim dialogue: listen and study, but avoid syncretism

January 26, 2015

Listening and thorough study are important components of dialogue with Muslims, Pope Francis said to participants in a January 24 meeting organized by the Pontifical Institute for Arab and Islamic Studies commemorating the 50th anniversary of its transfer from Tunisia to Rome.

Listening, he said, is not only a “necessary condition” for mutual understanding, but also a “pedagogical duty” that allows one to grow in understanding another’s concerns.

The Pope cautioned participants in dialogue with Muslims against the “snares of a conciliatory syncretism” that constitutes a “totalitarianism without values.”

A dialogue that “says ‘yes’ to everything in order to avoid problems,” he added, is a “way of deceiving others and denying them the good which we have been given to share generously with others.”

 
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