Cardinal hopes forum opens new chapter in Catholic-Muslim relations
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — On the eve of the first meeting of the Catholic-Muslim Forum, the cardinal responsible for the dialogue said he hoped it would open “a new chapter” in a long history of Catholic-Muslim relations. French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, gave interviews in early November to Vatican Radio and to the French Catholic newspaper La Croix. He told Vatican Radio that the Nov. 4-6 meeting with representatives of the 138 Muslim scholars who began the Common Word initiative in 2007 would give participants an opportunity to explain their faiths through their understanding of the commandments to love God and to love one’s neighbor. While theological points underlie the discussion, “properly speaking, one cannot say that we have a theological dialogue,” he said in the Nov. 3 interview with Vatican Radio. Rather, he said, the Vatican’s dialogues with Muslims have focused on ethical questions, spirituality and joint action on behalf of the suffering.