Addressing a group from the Foundation for Interreligious and Intercultural Research and Dialogue, Pope Benedict XVI declared that “research and interreligious and intercultural dialogue are not an option but a vital necessity for our time.” As Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the Pope was one of the founding members of the group in 1999. Other founding members were Prince Hassan of Jordan, Metropolitan Damaskinos of Switzerland, Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, and former chief rabbi of France Rene Samuel SiratThe Foundation was created to encourage dialogue among the three Abrahamic traditions– Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and to promote “a clearer understanding of a shared moral heritage with no syncretism or proselytism”.
Members of the delegation presented the Pope with the first project of the Foundation: a joint edition of the Torah, New Testament, and Qur”an in their original languages. Benedict expressed the hope that by re-reading, or reading for the first time, of each other”s sacred texts, Jews, Christians, and Muslims would come to appreciate the commonalities of the three traditions and be better equipped to enter into respectful dialogue.
- Interreligious Dialogue a Must, Pope Says (Zenit News Service)
- Princes Hassan, Members of FIIRD Meets Pope Benedict XVI (Jordan News Agency)
- Pope says Jews, Christians, Muslims are called to develop bonds (Catholic News Service)
- Prince Hassan launches new foundation for inter-religious, inter-cultural research (Jordan Times, 1999)