Vatican Message to Muslims for Ramadan
"Christians and Muslims Must Work to Safeguard the Dignity of the Family"
VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 19, 2008 - Here is a text published today by the
Vatican of a message sent to Muslims by the president of the
Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. The message was sent
on the occasion of the end of Ramadan.
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Christians and Muslims:
Together for the dignity of the family
Dear Muslim friends,
1. As the end of the month of Ramadan approaches, and following a now
well-established tradition, I am pleased to send you the best wishes
of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. During this
month Christians close to you have shared your reflections and your
family celebrations; dialogue and friendship have been strengthened.
Praise be to God!
2. As in the past, this friendly rendez-vous also gives us an
opportunity to reflect together on a mutually topical subject which
will enrich our exchange and help us to get to know each other better,
in our shared values as well as in our differences. This year we would
like to propose the subject of the family.
3. One of the documents of the Second Council Vatican, Gaudium et
Spes, which deals with the Church in the modern world, states: 'The
well-being of the individual person and of human and Christian society
is intimately linked with the healthy condition of that community
produced by marriage and family. Hence Christians and all men who hold
this community in high esteem sincerely rejoice in the various ways by
which men today find help in fostering this community of love and
perfecting its life, and by which parents are assisted in their lofty
calling. Those who rejoice in such aids look for additional benefits
from them and labour to bring them about.' (n. 47)
4. These words give us an opportune reminder that the development of
both the human person and of society depends largely on the
healthiness of the family! How many people carry, sometimes for the
whole of their life, the weight of the wounds of a difficult or
dramatic family background? How many men and women now in the abyss of
drugs or violence are vainly seeking to make up for a traumatic
childhood? Christians and Muslims can and must work together to
safeguard the dignity of the family, today and in the future.
5. Given the high esteem in which both Muslims and Christians hold the
family, we have already had many occasions, from the local to the
international level, to work together in this field. The family, that
place where love and life, respect for the other and hospitality are
encountered and transmitted, is truly the 'fundamental cell of
6. Muslims and Christians must never hesitate, not only to come to the
aid of families in difficulty, but also to collaborate with all those
who support the stability of the family as an institution and the
exercise of parental responsibility, in particular in the field of
education. I need only remind you that the family is the first school
in which one learns respect for others, mindful of the identity and
the difference of each one. Interreligious dialogue and the exercise
of citizenship cannot but benefit from this.
7. Dear friends, now that your fast comes to an end, I hope that you,
with your families and those close to you, purified and renewed by
those practices dear to your religion, may know serenity and
prosperity in your life! May Almighty God fill you with His Mercy and
Jean-Louis Cardinal Tauran President
Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata Secretary