Catholics and Muslims do not know each other well enough, French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, has said.
This is “despite 50 years of Nostra Aetate,” the Second Vatican Council’s document on inter-religious relations,
Speaking earlier this week about Catholic-Muslim relations, Cardinal Tauran added, “Most of the problems we face are problems of ignorance.”
Cardinal Tauran made his remarks in a keynote address at the conference Nostra Aetate: Celebrating Fifty Years of the Catholic Church’s Dialogue With Jews and Muslims, held at The Catholic University of America, Washington, and co-sponsored by the university’s School of Theology and Religious Studies and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs.
The conference was being held to mark the 50th anniversary of the document’s promulgation, which took place on October 28, 1965.
For Christians entering into dialogue with Muslims, Cardinal Tauran said, they need to understand that Islam is at the same time a religion, a political system and a civilisation. “It’s a very complex reality,” he added.
Nostra Aetate came about because St John XXIII wanted some sort of document along those lines for Vatican II but he died in 1963, before the council could consider it,. Some delegates to the council did not want to have such a document come up for discussion, Cardinal Tauran explained, and when discussion finally took place, “some bishops from the Middle East were concerned about this problem” that the draft of the document spoke only about the relationship between Catholics and Jews, and that this would not sit well with Muslim civic and religious leaders in the region.
“It soon became clear that ‘Nostra Aetate’ had nothing to do with (the state of) Israel,” Cardinal Tauran said, and the document was modified to include Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and other faith systems.
Having been unable to sell in churches for well over a year due to the pandemic, we are now inviting readers to support the Herald by investing in our future. We have been a bold and influential voice in the church since 1888, standing up for traditional Catholic culture and values.
Please join us on our 130 year mission by supporting us. We are raising £250,000 to safeguard the Herald as a world-leading voice in Catholic journalism and teaching. For more information from our chairman on contributing to the Herald Patron's Fund, click here
Make a Donation
Donors giving £500 or more will automatically become sponsor patrons of the Herald. This includes two complimentary print/digital gift subscriptions, invitations to Patron events, pilgrimages and dinners, and 6 gift subscriptions sent to priests, seminaries, Catholic schools, religious care homes and prison and university chaplaincies. Click here for more information on becoming a Patron Sponsor. Click here for more information about contributing to the Herald Patron's Fund