- Nov 23, 2020
Bishop Robert W. McElroy, co-chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ West Coast Catholic-Muslim Dialogue, will tell you that the biggest obstacle to dialogue between the two faiths is ignorance. Sherman Jackson, a professor of religion and American studies and ethnicity at the University of Southern California Dornsife, believes it to be fear. They agree that the only path forward is through cooperation.
The Vatican and Al-Azhar University, one of Islam’s most renowned schools of Sunni thought, will be joining forces to discuss how to fight religious extremism that uses God’s name to justify violence. The president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue will travel to Cairo to participate in the special seminar.
“For me, I was surprised,” said Nur Essa, a Muslim Syrian woman whose family was brought to Rome from Lesbos by Pope Francis. “(He is) very open to all of the cultures, all of the religions, and he sets an example for all the religious people in the world, because he uses religion to serve the human being.”
The transfer of St. Isaac’s has been seen as part of the growing power of the Orthodox Church and a trend of social conservatism in Russia, where President Vladimir Putin has appealed to traditional values as opposed to Western liberalism to help tighten his grip on society.
The message of the meeting of the European Catholic-Orthodox Forum said its aim was “to demonstrate the convergence of Catholics and Orthodox on major issues of social ethics” and the will of both churches to stand together in the face of “unprecedented challenges and threats against Christianity.”
The Catholic Archdiocese of Palermo will transfer a chapel to the Jewish community there. Archbishop of Palermo, Corrado Lorefice says, “This transfer is the product of a genuine friendship and ongoing dialogue between the church and Palermo’s Jewish community.”