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Pope Francis: audience, Document on Fraternity “gives strong impetus for advancing dialogue”

foto SIR/Marco Calvarese

“Beyond all the speeches, one further step was taken in Abu Dhabi when the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and I signed the Document on Human Fraternity, in which, together, we affirm the common vocation of all men and women to be brothers and sisters as children of God, reject every form of violence – especially that committed in the name of religion – and dedicate ourselves to defending authentic values and peace in the world”. Pope Francis said this during his general audience today, stressing the significance of one of the highlights of his apostolic trip to the United Arab Emirates, at the Founder’s Memorial. “This document – he continued off the cuff – will be studied in the schools and universities of several countries. I hope you will study it, for it gives strong impetus for advancing dialogue on human fraternity”. “In an era, like ours, where there is a strong temptation to see a clash between the Christian and the Islamic civilizations, and also to consider religions as a source of conflict – Pope Francis explained -, we wanted to send another clear and decisive signal that encounter is possible instead; that it is possible for us to respect one another and dialogue, and that, despite the diversity of our cultures and traditions, the Christian world and the Islamic world appreciate and protect common values: life, family, religious sense, respect for the elderly, and the education of young people, among others”.

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