On 9/11, Pope Francis greets Muslim leaders and Vatican officials promoting world peace

During his visit to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York on Sept. 25, 2015, Pope Francis views Bible fragment found in the rubble following the 2001 terrorist attack in lower Manhattan. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)  

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- On a day remembered for the terrorist attacks against the United States, Pope Francis met with members of a committee of Muslim leaders and Vatican officials promoting a new era of dialogue and world peace.

The first meeting of the committee working to fulfill the goals of the "Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together" was held Sept. 11 in the Vatican residence where the pope lives.

Advertisement

"The date was chosen as a sign of the will to build life and fraternity where others sowed death and destruction," said a communique by the Vatican press office Sept. 11.

[Don’t miss the latest news from the church and the world. Sign up for our daily newsletter.]

The Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together -- which rejects violence and terrorism and promotes identity, dialogue and harmony -- was signed in the United Arab Emirates Feb. 4 by Pope Francis and Egyptian Sheikh Ahmad el-Tayeb, grand imam of al-Azhar, a leading authority for many Sunni Muslims.

The seven-person committee is made up of representatives for the Vatican, al-Azhar University and the United Arab Emirates.

The pope greeted each member and gave them a special copy of the document, issued by the Vatican Library.

Calling them "artisans of fraternity," the pope thanked them and encouraged them to be the source of a new form of politics of "not only of outstretched hands, but of open hearts," the communique said.

During the committee's meeting, which the pope did not attend, the members agreed to invite representatives of other religions to be part of the committee, and they made a proposal to ask the United Nations to proclaim a World Day of Human Fraternity, to be celebrated between Feb. 3 and 5.

When the meeting ended, "each member prayed according to his own faith for the victims of Sept. 11 and of every act of terrorism," the Vatican statement said.

The members of the committee included: Cardinal-designate Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue; Mohamed Mahmoud Abdel Salam, former adviser to Egyptian Sheikh Ahmad el-Tayeb, grand imam of al-Azhar University; Mohamed Husin Abdelaziz Hassan, president of al-Azhar University; and Sultan Faisal Al Remeithi, UAE secretary general of the Muslim Council of Elders.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Dr.Cajetan Coelho
5 months 1 week ago

Life is a precious gift.

[Explore America’s in-depth coverage of Pope Francis.]

Advertisement

The latest from america

A Jesuit finds God in the familiar on the Wisconsin Way
Vincent StrandFebruary 17, 2020
From the beginning of his pontificate, Pope Francis has been concerned about the Holy See’s diplomats, who today number around 300, their formation and spiritual life, their welfare, their difficult and sometimes dangerous situations, their problems, and how they understand their role and mission.
Gerard O’ConnellFebruary 17, 2020
The meeting “renewed the will to pursue the institutional dialogue at a bilateral level to foster the life of the Catholic Church and the good of the Chinese people.”
Gerard O’ConnellFebruary 14, 2020
Pope Francis is not the first: Pope Benedict XVI also called for a “civil economy,” in his encyclical “Caritas in Veritate.” (Retired Pope Benedict XVI being greeted by Pope Francis on June 28, 2016. CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano, handout)
The pope’s gathering of economists in Assisi next month is part of a long process of establishing a new economic model that goes beyond financial self-interest, writes the social entrepreneur Felipe Witchger.
Felipe WitchgerFebruary 14, 2020