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USCCB committee reaffirms commitment to dialogue with Muslims

August 25, 2014

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs has strongly reaffirmed its commitment to engage in dialogue with Muslims.

After citing texts from the Second Vatican Council and St. John Paul II on dialogue with Muslims, the committee stated that “sadly, in recent years, there has been a deliberate rejection of this call to engage in dialogue with our Muslim brothers and sisters by some in the Catholic Church and in other ecclesial families.”

The committee continued:

We understand the confusion and deep emotions stirred by real and apparent acts of aggression and discrimination by certain Muslims against non-Muslims, often against Christians abroad. We, and increasingly our Muslim partners in dialogue, are concerned about these very real phenomena. Along with many of our fellow Catholics and the many Muslims who themselves are targeted by radicals, we wish to voice our sadness, indeed our outrage, over the random and sometimes systematic acts of violence and harassment—acts that for both Christians and Muslims threaten and disrupt the harmony that binds us together in mutual support, recognition, and friendship.

Still, it is our belief that the most efficient way to work toward ending or at least curtailing such violence and prejudice is through building networks of dialogue that can overcome ignorance, extremism, and discrimination and so lead to friendship and trust with Muslims.

“We affirm with [Pope Francis] that ‘dialogue does not mean renouncing one's own identity’ nor accepting compromises on ‘Christian faith and morals,’” the bishops added. “Like the pope, we are convinced that the encounter and dialogue with persons different than ourselves offers the best opportunity for fraternal growth, enrichment, witness, and ultimately peace.”


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  • Posted by: Bveritas2322 - Aug. 26, 2014 11:12 AM ET USA

    Many Muslims may be targeted by other Muslims, but the absolute refusal to find any Muslim to unambiguously condemn the pervasive blood cult violence reflects their submission to the blood cult violence. It is yet another episode of cowardice and ignorance on the part of bishops to treat a cult as an authentic religion.

  • Posted by: samuel.doucette1787 - Aug. 26, 2014 7:34 AM ET USA

    These USCCB bureaucrats are simply trying to justify their increasingly irrelevant existence. The only dialogue that needs to happen with Islam is to urge them to become Christian. Or, simply to tell them to leave us alone!

  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Aug. 25, 2014 10:58 PM ET USA

    Dialogue with Mulims will be about as fruitful as dialogue with the LCWR.

  • Posted by: Defender - Aug. 25, 2014 3:11 PM ET USA

    While the full text cites VII's Nostra Aetate as their authority and further states. "the declaration has been consistently upheld by recent popes" it doesn't not mention what the pre-VII popes have said for centuries and it seems to gloss over events since 9/11 up through today. One wonders if the bishops have really read the Quran or not?

  • Posted by: Lucius49 - Aug. 25, 2014 12:32 PM ET USA

    You cannot will participants to dialogue. Listen to the Iraqi bishops: ISIS, Al-Queda and the like don't know what dialog/diplomacy is and they need to be defeated and the innocent protected. They look upon the dialogue-chatter of the West as weakness. Nosce inimicum vestrum. Know your enemy and not an imaginary one. Time to get real.