Vatican City, (VIS) - "Catholic and Muslim Cooperation in promoting justice in the contemporary world" was the theme of the eighth Colloquium of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue and the Centre for Inter-religious Dialogue of the Islamic Culture and Relations Organisation (ICRO). The meeting was held in Rome from 19 to 21 November under the joint presidency of Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, and of Mohammad Bagher Korramshad, president of the ICRO.
A communique released today explains how the theme was divided into four subheadings "from the point of view of Catholics and of Shi'i Muslims: (1) The concept of justice; (2) Justice for the human person; (3) Justice for the different constituents of society, and (4) Justice for the entire human family. The English-language communique goes on: "Both sides expressed their awareness of and concern for current challenges, including the economic crisis, the environmental issue, the weakening of the family as a basic institution of society and threats to world peace. The participants, recognising both areas of commonality and difference, focused on common ground and shared values:
"1. The belief we share in the One God Who created all things gives each of us a holistic understanding of justice. The various spheres of its application are inter-related: personal, communitarian, social, political, economic, cultural and judicial.
"2. Justice as a virtue based on human dignity requires the right exercise of reason and the illumination of God. Recognition of, and respect for, freedom of conscience, inter alia, are conditions of justice in our societies.
"3. The dynamic nature of the concept of justice allows it to be adapted to meet the new challenges of the contemporary world.
"4. The responsibility of religious leaders, institutions and, indeed, every believer to denounce injustice and oppression in all their forms and to promote justice all around the world. We believe that our religions possess resources which can inspire people to work to make justice and peace a reality.
"5. The demand that, for the sake of the promotion of justice in today’s world, Muslims and Christians continue to deepen their understanding of one another through ongoing dialogue and cooperation.
"6. The need to take the fruits of our meeting and communicate them to the people of our respective communities and societies so that they can have a real effect in the world.
"The participants were pleased and honoured to be received at the end of the meeting by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, who greeted and encouraged them to continue on the path of an authentic and fruitful dialogue. The next Colloquium, preceded by a preparatory meeting,will take place in Tehran, Iran, in two years".