Pope Francis meets top Egyptian cleric at Vatican, ending five-year freeze in relations

sunni

Pope Francis has met the grand imam of Egypt’s highest Islamic authority, Al-Azhar, looking to heal Vatican relations with the influential centre of Sunni Muslim learning after dialogue was frozen five years ago. The 1,000-year-old mosque and university centre cut contacts with the Vatican in 2011 over what it said were repeated insults towards Islam from Francis’s predecessor, Pope Benedict.

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Sacred Earth 2016

sacred earthLast December, representatives of 196 nations did something they’d never before been able to accomplish before. Gathered in Paris, they reached an international agreement on climate change. Together our faith communities were at the heart of making this happen. But there is still more to do. Sacred Earth is a worldwide spiritual event taking place on Jun 12, 2016. This event spans many faith traditions.

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INTERVIEW: Humans Become God? Yes, It’s Catholic Theology

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A new book, Called to Be the Children of God: The Catholic Theology of Human Deification, offers essays from more than a dozen Catholic scholars and theologians to examine what this process of “deification” means in their respective areas of study. ZENIT asked editor Fr. David Meconi, S.J., to tell us about this doctrine, which might sound anything but Catholic, and about the book.

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MENA Leaders Address Violent Extremism & Advance Citizenship Ahead of G7 Summit

Religions for Peace (TOKYO, JAPAN, 13 MAY 2016) As heads of state from the world’s major economies are arriving in Japan for the G7 Summit, world renowned religious leaders from the Middle East convened in Tokyo on 12-13 May to advance the full citizenship of all communities in Muslim majority states. Doing so, they stated, was an irreplaceable key to preventing and transforming violent extremism, Islamophobia and xenophobia.

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Holy See to United Nations: Religious Authorities Have to Be the Leaders in Stopping Terrorism

levantThe Permanant Observer of the Vatican to the United Nations gives account of recent terrorism and the role of religious leaders in countering terrorism. The recent Marrakesh Declaration is cited as example of efforts by religious leaders to repudiate, refute and rebut erroneous presentations of religious teachings which seek to recuit those symapthetic to false interpretations of religious teachings.

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The Role of Churches in Interfaith Dialogue

darwaniBefore considering the role of churches in interfaith dialogue, it is important to note the key role played by religion in the communities and societies of our region, said he Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem, the Most Revd Suheil Dawani, at the Carter Centre in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Jerusalem – and the Middle East more generally – is a place where religion is integral to the identity of individuals, families, communities and national societies.

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Vatican to Buddhists: We Agree ‘Eco-Crisis’ Is an ‘Ego-Crisis’

ego-crisisThe Vatican has sent a message for the Buddhist Feast of Vesakh (Wesak), saying both religions recognize that the ‘eco-crisis’ is an ‘ego-crisis.’ Vesakh is the most important holiday for Buddhists, for it commemorates the principal events of the life of Buddha, and is celebrated on different dates, according to different traditions, in the various countries of Buddhist culture. This year, the festival is celebrated in some countries on May 14, while in others between 20 and 21 May.

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