Catholic-Muslim commission searches for ways to influence public opinion against violence
February 26, 2010
The latest meeting of a Catholic-Muslim commission concentrated on means of preventing violence undertaken in the name of religion. The joint commission-- with members from the Vatican and from Egypt's Al Azhar university-- met in Cairo, where the topic of religious violence has taken on new importance after the killings of Coptic Christians by Muslim extremists.
Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, who serves as both apostolic nuncio in Egypt and the Vatican's representative at the Cairo headquarters of the Arab League, told Vatican Radio that the commission members agreed on the importance of encouraging an accurate understanding of other faiths and their historical interactions. He acknowledged, however, that the commission had difficulty reaching consensus on how that goal should be achieved. Archbishop Fitzgerald also conceded that the Catholic-Muslim commission has not yet found ways to influence public opinion-- "that we don’t really reach the public and we have to make a greater effort to reach the public."