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Members of a Vatican special committee met with the Secretary General of the United Nations on December 4 to deliver a petition on human fraternity co-authored by Pope Francis and the Sunni Islamic Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed Al-Tayeb.The committee was formed under the auspicies of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. The message from the two religious leaders requested that February 4 be declared the “World Day of Human Fraternity,” and asked the United Nations, along with the Vatican and the Al-Azhar Mosque, to create a “World Summit On Human Fraternity.” The Al-Azhar Mosque is located in Cairo, Egypt, and the Grand Imam of that mosque is considered to be one of the highest positions in Sunni Islam.
According to a statement released by the Pontifical Council, Dr. Antonio Guterres, the secretary general of the United Nations, “expressed his appreciation and availability for the initiative,” and said that he believed it was important to work “at the service of all humanity.”Guterres appointed AdamaDieng, who is presently the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Adviser for Hate Speech and the Prevention of Genoicde, to work along with a Vatican special committee on the proposed summit and World Day of Human Fraternity.
The Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue formed the committee to work towards the goals for advancing world peace and coexistence laid out in the Document on Human Fraternity. That document was released when Pope Francis made a journey to the United Arab Emirates.The committee, which is led by Cardinal Miguel Angel AyusoGuixot, contains members belonging to Christian, Muslim, and Jewish faiths. AyusoGuixot also heads the Pontifical Council.
AyusoGiuxot, in an interview with Vatican News Aug. 26, called the creation of the committee a “significant act” with a “noble” objective, and stated that he believes “fear is the number one enemy of interreligious dialogue.””The Catholic Church recalls the value of its own identity, of the courage of otherness and the sincerity of intentions,” he said. “It is not a matter of making a ‘melting pot’ in which all religions are considered equal, but that all believers, those who seek God and all people of good will without a religious affiliation, have equal dignity.””I think the Abu Dhabi declaration is a global appeal to the ‘civilization of love’ which contrasts with those who want a clash of civilizations!” the archbishop said.
About three weeks after the superior committee was formed, the Catholic and Muslim members met in the Holy See on Sept. 11 to pray for the victims of the 9/11 attacks in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, as well as for the victims of every act of terrorism.
According to the Holy See Press Office, the committee chose to meet Sept. 11 as “a sign of the will to build life and fraternity where others sowed death and destruction.”
(Extracted from catholicnewsagency.com)