2012-09-24 L’Osservatore Romano
Benedict XVI pointed out the way to peace. It is now up to those who have the destiny of the Middle East in their hands to decide whether to take it – and thus put an end to the suffering of the peoples who dwell in that troubled region – or whether to continue to leave room for violence that is also nurtured by the exploitation of religious convictions that have nothing to do with violence. Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious dialogue, has developed his knowledge during long years of experience as head of the Vatican dicastery: Christians and Muslims do not have, and have never have had, problems of coexistence in daily life. “There are other problems”, he said in the interview he granted our newspaper on the Pope's return from his Journey in Lebanon – in which he took part as a member of the papal entourage. “Many are caused by fundamentalism, an enemy not only of Christians but also of Muslims themselves”.
To the question as to how the Visit to Lebanon will be able to influence future developments of the dialogue between Christians and Muslims the Cardinal replied: “in the meantime Benedict XVI has once again shown great respect for Islam and for its culture. Furthermore, he emphasized vigorously the contribution made to the birth and formation of Arab culture in general by Christians, together with Muslims. He revived the memory of the times when Christians and Muslims lived side by side in many places. He believes in the possibility of returning to that coexistence.