International news

 — Sept. 30, 200430 sept. 2004

The Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission has produced a
new document on the Blessed Virgin Mary that it hopes will advance the cause of communion.
The Commission submitted the document entitled “Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ
to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and to the Anglican Archbishop of
Canterbury together with the Anglican Consultative Council and hopes that the sponsoring
bodies will be able to move toward the publication of the document in due course. This
will bring to completion the second phase of work of the ARCIC, which was mandated in 1982
by Pope John Paul II and Anglican Archbishop Robert Runcie. (Zenit)

The first meeting of the International Joint Commission for Theological
Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Coptic Orthodox Churches
took place
in Cairo last January and was hosted by Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Shenouda III of
Alexandria and the See of St. Mark. The ancient Churches of the East (also called
Orthodox) are the Churches which remained outside the influence of the Roman Empire and
developed their own specific traditions in theological and ecclesiastical matters: the
Copts, the Syrian Orthodox, the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Orthodox Church of
Ethiopia, and the Malankara Church. The meeting examined the many studies and activities
of the past thirty years as well as the unofficial consultations and official dialogue
held between the various Churches. The next gathering, on “Church as Communion,”
is scheduled for Jan. 25-30, 2005. Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical
Council for Promoting Christian Unity, extended an invitation to have the meeting held in
Rome. (Zenit)

The Protestant Church in the Netherlands officially came into being on
May 1, 2004. The merger of three Protestant denominations — two Reformed and one Lutheran
— make it the country’s biggest Protestant church and the second largest after the
five-million strong Roman Catholic Church. (Anglican Journal)

A new centre specifically built for dialogue between
Christianity, Judaism and Islam is housed in the Lutheran
Church of the Reformation near Bethlehem. Known as Abraham’s House, the centre looks to
the biblical hospitality of Abraham as a model for Jews, Christians and Muslims in coming
to know and understand each other and achieve reconciliation. (Anglican

Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious leaders in Finland have
instituted a permanent interfaith forum to promote and facilitate greater cooperation
among the various religious groups of the country. Traditionally, Finland is a Protestant
country with 85% of the 5 million population belonging to the Lutheran Church. The
arrival, in recent years, of some 100,000 people from other countries has augmented
religious and cultural diversity. Besides Lutherans, Finland has 50,000 Orthodox, 50,000
Free Church Protestants, 20,000 Muslims, 8,000 Catholics and 1,500 Jews. (Ecumenical
News International

A meeting of leaders of Europe’s principal Catholic movements with leaders of German
evangelical organizations was the first-ever Europe-wide ecumenical gathering of
Christian movements and communities
. Held in Stuttgart on 8 May, the eve of
“Europe Day,” the theme of the event was “Christian Movements and
Communities Together for Europe.” Speakers included the president of the European
Commission, Romano Prodi, and the head of the Vatican’s Christian unity council, Cardinal
Walter Kasper. The founders of Focolare, Chiara Lubich and of Sant’Egidio, Andrea
Riccardi, joined German evangelical leaders, including Helmut Nicklas, Friedrich Aschoff
and Ulrich Parzany, to bring a Christian vision to the newly expanded European Union. For
details of the meeting one may visit []. (The Tablet)

Representatives of the U.S. Catholic Bishops and leading American Buddhists
have co-mpleted two of a planned series of four dialogue sessions aimed at creating
greater awareness of the two religious traditions. About twenty representatives met for
three days of prayer and discussion of Buddhist and Catholic approaches to
“Transformation of Hearts and Minds.” The U.S. bishops’ conference, the Dharma
Realm Buddhist Association and the San Francisco Zen Center cosponsored the event. Each
day began with an hour-long Zen-style meditation. A Catholic liturgy was held in the
afternoons. The next meeting in the series is to be held Jan. 20-23, 2005, in San
Francisco. (National Catholic Reporter)

For four days, Catholic and Muslim professors in Istanbul, Turkey came
together to study the Gospels and the Koran, examining the revelation, inspiration,
formation, transmission, literary genius, style and authority in their respective
communities. About seventy people took part in the Symposium that was held in the guest
house adjacent to the Church of the Friars Minor Capuchin in Yesilköy (Turkish for
“green village”). They were Catholic, Orthodox, Chaldean and Muslim, with many
being students from the Universities of Ankara and Sakarya. “The progress of dialogue
between ourselves and the Muslims,” said Fr. Maurice Borrmans, “depends on
initiatives like this one, taken by the Capuchin Friars and the professors of the Faculty
of Islamic Theology at the University of Marmara in Istanbul; it is only by getting to
know one another that we can comprehend, respect and collaborate in order to set out on a
path in which friendship can acquire the character of brotherhood.” (Osservatore

Clergy training in the Church of England must give higher priority to
understanding Islam
. A consultation of the Anglican Partnership for World Mission
has called for national guidelines to ensure clergy are competent in understanding Islam
and capable of dealing with inter-faith questions. “We appreciate that each
theological college or training course must decide how this is worked out in
practice,” said a spokesperson, “but this issue is so important the whole church
must regard it as a priority. We think every Anglican theological college needs staff who
have understanding and experience of Islam.” Creating harmony among people of faith
is crucial in a world where terrorism and conflict are on the increase, the consultation
stressed. (Anglican Journal)

The official Catholic-Muslim dialogue committee (the joint committee
of the Permanent Committee of Al-Azhar for Dialogue with the Monotheistic Religions and
the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue) has published a declaration calling on
the faithful of both religions to avoid generalizations in their mutual relations and to
make room for more self-criticism. Committee members noticed that “there is agreement
in the two religions, Christianity and Islam, in refusing generalization in judging
people.” “Where a sin is committed, whether by an individual or a community,
only that individual or community is to be held accountable and not others,” the
final declaration states. “Both religions advocate self-criticism at the individual
and community level and the examination of conscience and asking pardon, a way of behavior
that may be an example to others,” it explains. (Zenit)

One of the recent significant achievements for Anglican interfaith relations
has been the establishment of an agreement between the Anglican Communion and Al-Azhar,
the renowned Islamic university and Centre in Cairo, Egypt which is the foremost center of
Sunni Muslim scholarship. September 11 has become the date for the annual dialogue which
the agreement signed in January 2002 by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Grand Shaykh
of Al-Azhar, sought to establish. It was agreed to establish reciprocal study visits in
which staff and students of Al-Azhar would spend time at Anglican theological
institutions, Anglican theologians and theological students would similarly visit
Al-Azhar. For more information about the Anglican/Al-Azhar dialogue, including the
official agreement, see NIFCON (Network for Inner Faith Concerns of the Anglican
Communion) website []. (Anglican – Episcopal World)

A first World Congress of Imams and Rabbis for Peace: When Men Talk
Weapons are silent.., a project of the “Hommes de Parole” Foundation, plans to
bring together one hundred imams and rabbis in Morocco. Christians will be present as
observers; and their role as connecting link was recognized at the outset. (Zenit)

In 2003 Christians pupils joined Muslim pupils in breaking the Ramadan fast
with a meal of friendship. During lent 2004, the Muslim pupils at St. Lawrence School in
Lahore, Pakistan decided to live a day of fasting with their Catholic friends and to share
a meal of breaking the fast in a climate of brotherhood. “The initiative taken by the
Muslim pupils with regard to Catholic pupils was deeply appreciated,” said Father
Francis Nadeem, secretary of the Pakistani bishops’ Commission for Ecumenical and
Interreligious Dialogue. Speaking at a students meeting on behalf of the Muslim pupils,
Azam Khan said, “Our dream is to send a message of peace and reconciliation to all
peoples.” (Zenit)

Experts examine the questions: “Why is there evil, why is there suffering,
why is there adversity in the world?”
Christian and Muslim scholars and
writers, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Jewish Scholar Jon Levenson addressed the
subject of evil and its contemporary manifestations at the 35th national conference of the
Trinity Institute in New York in the hope that an interfaith dialogue could help the
contemporary world “name evil” and perhaps act on it. (Ecumenical News

Thirteen US Catholic bishops spent four days this spring studying
Islam and Catholic-Muslim relations. The institute was the second of these such programs
designed to increase the bishops’ understanding of the second-largest religion, with more
than a billion adherents worldwide. (Catholic News Service)

The Reformed Church of the district of Vaud in Switzerland has
decided to open its cathedral in Lausanne more often to other Christians
in the
area: there will be daily ecumenical prayers and monthly ecumenical services animated by
an ecumenical team; a mass will be celebrated next November 13 on Peoples’ Day and another
on May 21, 2005 for the Sacrament of confirmation bringing together several Catholic
parishes of the town. There are also plans for a common Pascal Vigil in 2006. Without
questioning the dedication of the Lausanne Cathedral as a place of Protestant liturgy,
these proposals aim to strengthen ecumenical life and to witness to a spirit of openness.
(Translated from Infocatho)

As US Lutheran and Catholic scholars completed five years of work on a
document about their churches’ structures and ministries, they looked back on the ten
rounds of dialogue that began in 1965 and ahead in anticipation of the 11th topic for
discussion. “In working toward church unity, the challenge is to find a common lens
that bypasses old differences,” said Susan Wood, a dialogue participant and professor
at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn. (Catholic News Service)

Every year, Seeds of Peace brings teenagers living with violence —
Israelis, Palestinians, Indians, Pakistanis — to a summer vacation camp in the U.S. From
the time of their arrival, avoiding each other or hating each other, the young people are
little by little drawn into contact through sports, discussions, role playing, examination
of photographs and newspaper articles until they see their prejudices melting away. Seeds
of Peace hopes to change the way these teenagers see each other so that when they become
teachers, politicians, journalists and leaders they will be able to sow their own seeds of
peace. (Translated from La Vie)

Posted: Sept. 30, 2004 • Permanent link:
Categories: CCEIn this article: Centre Canadien d’œcuménisme, Islam
Transmis : 30 sept. 2004 • Lien permanente :
Catégorie : CCEDans cet article : Centre Canadien d’œcuménisme, Islam

  Previous post: Ancien article : Nouvelles nationales
  Newer post: Article récent : Nouvelles internationales