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The 7th round of Catholic – Shi’a dialogue

01 July, 2016 17:50
The 7th round of Catholic – Shi’a dialogue

The cities of Qum and Mashhad in Iran hosted the 7th round of Catholic – Shi’a dialogue early this May.

The Catholic group which was invited by Dr Mohammad Ali Shomali comprised of Abbot Primate Notker Wolf, head of the Benedictine Confederation, Father William Skudlarek, General Secretary of ‘Monastic and Interfaith Dialogue’, Fr. Timothy Wright, the former Abbot of Ampleforth Abbey, England (currently lecturer at Berkley Centre for Religion, Peace & World Affairs USA), Brother Godfroy, Brother Ponte and Sister Loraine from France, father Maximillian from Kenya (PhD candidate at Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies) and Dr. De Colina from Germany.

During the three-day dialogue, the group presented papers and engaged in discussions on various subjects. 

The cities of Qum and Mashhad in Iran hosted the 7th round of Catholic – Shi’a dialogue early this May.

While in Qum, they participated in a lecture by Ayatollah Javad Fadhil on ‘Human Dignity in Shia Jurisprudence’ at the Institute of the Aemeh Athar. 

Ayatollah Javad Fadhil lectures on ‘Human Dignity in Shiite Jurisprudence and Christianity’ at the Institute of the Aemeh Athar, on May 12, 2016.

A visit was arranged to the University of Religion and Denominations, the holy shrine of Lady Masoumeh (sa) and the Mosque of Jamkaran, followed by a trip to the International Book Fair in Tehran. They also visited the shrine of Imam Redha (as) in the holy city of Mashhad.

The group of scholars visit the Mosque of Jamkaran in Qum.

The group of scholars visit the holy shrine of Imam Redha (as) in Mashhad.

Dr Shomali said he believes strongly that Christians and Muslims are but people of the same family as we all are followers of Prophet Abraham (a). He said that Islam, Christianity and Judaism belong to the same tradition but different branches so it would be much more natural to be in dialogue with each other [believers] than with people who have no faith in the Divine, or have no religion or do not belong to the Abrahamic tradition. He added: “Of course even with others we can have dialogue but with these people it comes very naturally because of our commonalities.”

According to Dr Shomali participants in this interfaith and interreligious trip felt a deep sense of friendship that is getting deeper with every meeting. Even those who attended for the first time felt the same. 

It is planned for the next meeting of dialogue to be held in Kenya where there has been some tension between Christians and Muslims and where meetings such as this may carry significant importance as a testimony of love and brotherhood among both faiths. It is hoped that the 7th round of Catholic – Shi’a dialogue will be followed with another book as per previous dialogues.

Source: islam-today.co.uk


 

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