From the Small Claims Courts blog of Leo Hura.
Muslim Religious Leaders outlined a basis for dialogue by presenting examples of
sacred writing in both faiths about a shared belief in One God and Love thy
Neighbor. They urge meaningful dialogue leading to practical steps towards
reconciliation. I’ve written about
the document before. As Religious Leaders prepare for a November summit we
continue to ask whether there is a role for mediators in this process?
One hypothesis I recently heard,
in no uncertain terms is, we don’t need “neutrals”, besides, why should we even
listen to you as we have experience in ecumenical dialogue and have done just
fine? Does this sound all too
familiar to the mediation community?
In previous blog entries I have
strongly suggested the use of mediators.
I argued for the parties to tap mediator skills. I highlighted a few problems which are
unique to religious dialogue, not the least of which are, seemingly
irreconcilable differences in “doctrine” or for Catholics, “dogma.” If we think the law is sometimes an a_ _
then imagine the challenges inherent to negotiations over religious
Here’s an update of events:
Hura, thank you for your positive comments on the Common Word statement. You can look over the work of the USCCB
on Muslim-Catholic Dialogue at www.usccb.org under
Departments: Ecumenical and Interreligious, scrolling down to the various items
in the interreligious portion of the site.
At the Common
Word website, please note in particular the statements by Christian Troll, S.J.,
and by Samir Khalil Samir, S.J.
Also, an insightful analysis by the journalist Sandro Magister came out
this morning at http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/178461 (English version; you can also access it
via www.chiesa.com) “Why Benedict XVI is So
Cautious with the Letter of the 138 Muslims”.
Ever since the
early Muslim community began attacking the Byzantine and Persian empires, there
have been many good reasons for repentance, regret, reconciliation, forgiveness,
mediation and so forth. This is not
going to happen very soon, at least in human terms. With God’s help, anything is
possible. Humanly speaking, in
addition to studying together and learning from one another, it would also be
good to foster cultural exchanges and common efforts in the field of social
service and humanitarian aid.
Perhaps your local parish community could
begin a dialogue of friendship and hospitality with the Muslim communities of
mosque communities in all 50 states).
Another approach would be to consult with the
Please let me
know if I can be of further help.
Christ, Fr. Francis Tiso, Associate Director, Secretariat for Ecumenical and
Interreligious Affairs, USCCB.”
In subsequent correspondence with
Fr. Tiso I asked how does one keep track of developments in this area. He suggested:
Cardinal Scola’s periodical,
Religion News http://www.religionnews.com/ (however
there is a cost for articles)
Where does this people in our
field? From my inquiries, regrettably, it appears like we’re somewhat left out
of current activities and events at the level at which dialogue must occur,
which is the leadership level. And,
as the first step is deciding on “process” our current exclusion, if that is
what it is, will last for an indefinite period. As the religious leadership
“negotiators” struggle to find their way in a setting which is increasingly
dominated by radicals, who with a growing number and size of bombs and all to
real horror based rhetoric, can by their words and actions dominate the air
waves and stifle communications about meaningful dialogue, leading to practical
steps towards reconciliation. At
least religious leaders can find channel by which to separately or jointly
report on developments in this area and when necessary reach out for the support
our field can offer.
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