ONE WORLD RELIGION WATCH: Interreligious dialogue, the steps of the Holy See
Not only the dialogue with the Islamic University of Azhar, which will have a visible sign in the visit of Pope Francis to the ancient Sunni institution. The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue seeks to continue the dialogue with the Islamic world also by participating in the activities of KAICIID, Vienna-based Sao Tome’s Center for Dialogue. There, Cardinal Tauran, president of the Vatican dicastery, was last April 7.
What is the KAICIID? The name is for King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue. It is a center for interreligious dialogue, based in Vienna. It has three founding states: Saudi Arabia – which makes a contribution of 15 million a year – Austria and Spain. The Holy See, on the other hand, plays the role of permanent founder and observer. A role of guarantee, strengthened by the presence of Bishop Miguel Ayuso Guixot, Undersecretary of the Diocese, at the board of the institution.
This is essentially the only diplomatic relationship that the Holy See has with Saudi Arabia, which is in the few of the few states in the world who have no official diplomatic relations with the Vatican. The visit of Cardinal Jean Louis Tauran, on April 7th, is part of this framework.
The high-level meeting took place between Cardinal and Secretary General of KAICIID, Faisal Bin Muammar, who informed the Center’s activities. The dialogue focused in particular on past, current and future collaboration of the Holy See at the Center.
Among the activities of KAICIID, the programs to support inter-religious dialogue platforms in the Central African Republic, Iraq / Syria, Myanmar and Asia, those of the “United Against Violence in the Name of Religion” and the Social Media Initiative as Space For dialogue “as well as the KAICIID study program, which aims to train young religious leaders to counteract hatred in social media and support peaceful reconciliation.
There will be other planned meetings, and a closer engagement between the parties. How is it, it’s all to see. Since its establishment in 2012, there have been many debates about the center. It has been wondered whether Saudi Arabia could promote dialogue, since there is no religious freedom and there is a risk of stopping even if you are surprised at your own home to practice your religion and where churches can not be built. And the controversy has been moved in Austria by the Green Party, who noted that the Saudi kingdom promotes the center and at the same time finances many mosques in Europe where Wahhabism is preached, Islam is more conservative than in Saudi Arabia is religion Of state. Critics are all aware of. But giving the center the name of the king of Saudi Arabia was also understood as a wish and commitment, a way of showing that something in the heart of Islam has moved.
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