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Religion and Society

A Joint Appeal for More Solidarity in the World

The fundamental role of the family and the school, the importance of an integral education, religious freedom: these are some of the major points contained in the common document issued on 14 may by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and El Hassan Bin Talal, founder of the Royal Institute for Inter-faith Studies.

Under the joint patronage of HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal and His Eminence Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies (Amman, Jordan) and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (Vatican City) held their Third Colloquium in Amman from 13 to 14 May 2014, on the theme “Meeting Current Challenges through Education”, on the eve of the visit of His Holiness Pope Francis which is a source of hope for all peoples of the Holy Land and the region.

 

 

The meeting began with moments of silent prayer, invoking God’s help and blessing.

 

 

The participants strongly condemned all forms of violence, and most recently the kidnapping of the Nigerian school girls and called for their immediate release, so that they can return to their families and their schools. They also advocated peaceful resolutions to all ongoing conflicts. The discussion, which took place in an atmosphere of cordiality and friendship, allowed the participants to agree on the following:

 

 

- the fundamental institutions for the education of children and youth are the family and the school;

 

- the importance of proper religious education, in particular for the transmission of religious and moral values;

 

- the necessary consideration of the dignity of the human person, especially in educational institutions;

 

- the disregard of the international provisions aimed at guaranteeing the effective respect of fundamental human rights, in particular religious freedom;

 

- the most urgent challenges to meet include the peaceful resolution of current conflicts, the eradication of poverty and the promotion of the spiritual and moral dimension of life;

 

- the conviction that religion is not the cause of conflicts, but rather inhumanity and ignorance; consequently integral education is essential;

 

- many recalled that religions, properly understood and practised, are not causes of division and conflicts but rather a necessary factor for reconciliation and peace.

 

As believers, we hope that human wisdom would always meet the wisdom of God.

 

Finally, as the future of humanity is in the hands of the young generations, we propose the following Cultural Decalogue for everyone involved in education:

 

 

1) Never renounce intellectual curiosity;

 

2) Have intellectual courage instead of intellectual cowardice;

 

3) Be humble and not intellectually arrogant;

 

4) Practice intellectual empathy instead of closed mindedness;

 

5) Observe intellectual integrity;

 

6) Keep your intellectual autonomy;

 

7) Persevere in the face of surrounding superficiality;

 

8) Trust reason;

 

9) Be fair-minded and not intellectually unfair;

 

10) Consider pluralism as richness, not a threat.

 

 

God willing, we will continue our fruitful dialogue through future colloquia and other initiatives.

 

 

Amman, 14 May 2014

 

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