PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE
MESSAGE FOR THE END OF RAMADAN
E ‘Id al-Fitr 1438 H. / 2017 A.D.
Christians and Muslims:
Caring for our Common Home
Dear Muslim Brothers and Sisters,
We wish to assure you of our prayerful solidarity during this time of fasting
in the month of Ramadan and the celebration of‘Id al–Fitrthat
concludes it, and we extend to you our heartfelt best wishes for serenity, joy
and abundant spiritual gifts.
This year’s Message is especially timely and significant: fifty years ago, in
1967, only three years after the establishment of this Pontifical Council for
Interreligious Dialogue (PCID) by Pope Paul VI on 19 May 1964, the first Message
was sent for this occasion.
In the years that have followed, two Messages have been particularly
important: the Message of 1991, during the pontificate of Pope
John Paul II,
entitled “The Path of Believers is the Way of Peace”, and the Message of 2013,
in the first year of
Pope Francis’ pontificate, entitled “Promoting Mutual Respect through
Education”. Both Messages were signed by the Pontiffs.
Among the many activities of the PCID for promoting dialogue with Muslims,
the most important and longstanding is this yearly Message for Ramadan and for‘Id
al-Fitraddressed to Muslims throughout the world. To share this Message in
the widest way possible, the PCID is assisted by local Catholic communities, as
well as Papal Representatives present in almost every country.
The experience of both our religious communities affirms the value of this
Message for promoting cordial relations between Christian and Muslim neighbours
and friends, by offering insights on current and pressing issues.
For this year, the PCID offers a theme related to
Encyclical Letter “Laudato
Si’–On Care for Our Common Home”, which was addressed not only to
Catholics and Christians, but to the whole of humanity.
Pope Francis draws attention to the harm our lifestyles and decisions are
causing to the environment, to ourselves and to our fellow human beings. There
are, for example, certain philosophical, religious, and cultural perspectives
that present obstacles which threaten humanity’s relationship with nature. To
take up this challenge involves all of us, regardless of whether or not we
profess a religious belief.
The Encyclical’s title itself is expressive: the world is a “common home”, a
dwelling for all the members of the human family. Therefore, no one person,
nation or people can impose exclusively their understanding of our planet. This
is why Pope Francis appeals “for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the
future of our planet…, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and
its human roots, concern and affects us all” (n. 14).
Pope Francis states that “the ecological crisis is also a summons to profound
interior conversion” (no. 217). What is needed is education, spiritual openness
and a “global ecological conversion” to adequately address this challenge. As
believers, our relationship with God should be increasingly shown in the way we
relate to the world around us. Our vocation to be guardians of God’s handiwork
is not optional, nor it is tangential to our religious commitment as Christians
and Muslims: it is an essential part of it.
May the religious insights and blessings that flow from fasting, prayer and
good works sustain you, with God’s help, on the path of peace and goodness, to
care for all the members of the human family and for the whole of creation.
With these sentiments, we wish you once again serenity, joy and prosperity.
From the Vatican, 19 May 2017
Jean-Louis Cardinal Tauran
Bishop Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, M.C.C.l.