PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE
JOINT DECLARATION OF THE
INTER-RELIGIOUS DIALOGUE (VATICAN)
AND THE CENTRE FOR INTER-RELIGIOUS DIALOGUE
OF THE ISLAMIC CULTURE AND
RELATIONS ORGANISATION (TEHRAN, IRAN)
Rome, 28-30 April 2008
The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (Vatican) and
the Centre for Inter-religious Dialogue of the Islamic Culture and Relations
Organisation (Tehran, Iran) held their sixth Colloquium in Rome from 28 - 30
April 2008 under the joint presidency of His Eminence Cardinal Jean-Louis
TAURAN, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and His
Excellency Dr. Mahdi MOSTAFAVI, President of the Islamic Culture and Relations
The delegation of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious
Dialogue was composed as follows:
- His Excellency Archbishop Pier Luigi CELATA
- His Excellency Archbishop Ramzi GARMOU
- Reverend Monsignor Khaled AKASHEH
- Reverend Monsignor Prof. Piero CODA
- Reverend Father Prof. Michel FÉDOU, S.J.
- Prof. Vittorio POSSENTI
- Dr. Ilaria MORALI
The delegation of the Islamic Culture and Relations Organisation
was composed as follows:
- Hojjat al-Islam Dr. Mohammad Jafar ELMI
- Hojjat al-Islam Dr. Mohammad MASJEDJAMEI
- Dr. Abdolrahim GAVAHI
- Hojjat al-Islam Dr. Seyyed Mahdi KHAMOUSHI
- Hojjat al-Islam Dr. Hamid PARSANIA
- Dr. Rasoul RASOULIPOUR
- Mr. Mohsen DANESHMAND
The participants, with the help of six papers presented by three
scholars from each side, examined the theme Faith and Reason in Christianity
and Islam, which was developed through three subthemes from the point of
view of Catholics and Shi’a Muslims: 1) Faith and reason: Which relation?
2) Theology/Kalam as inquiry into the rationality of faith; 3) Faith
and reason confronted with the phenomenon of violence.
And the end of the meeting the participants agreed upon the
1. Faith and reason are both gifts of God to mankind.
2. Faith and reason do not contradict each other, but faith
might in some cases be above reason, but never against it.
3. Faith and reason are intrinsically non-violent. Neither
reason nor faith should be used for violence; unfortunately, both of them have
been sometimes misused to perpetrate violence. In any case, these events
cannot question either reason or faith.
4. Both sides agreed to further co-operate in order to promote
genuine religiosity, in particular spirituality, to encourage respect for
symbols considered to be sacred and to promote moral values.
5. Christians and Muslims should go beyond tolerance,
accepting differences, while remaining aware of commonalities and thanking God
for them. They are called to mutual respect, thereby condemning derision of
6. Generalization should be avoided when speaking of
religions. Differences of confessions within Christianity and Islam, diversity
of historical contexts are important factors to be considered.
7. Religious traditions cannot be judged on the basis of a
single verse or a passage present in their respective holy Books. A holistic
vision as well as an adequate hermeneutical method is necessary for a fair
understanding of them.
The participants expressed their satisfaction with the level of
the presentations and the debates as well as the open and friendly atmosphere
during the colloquium.
The participants were honoured and pleased to be received at the
end of the colloquium by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, who was particularly
satisfied with the choice of the theme and the venue of the meeting.
The next colloquium will be held in Tehran within two years,
preceded by a preparatory meeting.