Pope Benedict XVI’s representative at the Holy Land Conference which took place at Lambeth Palace from 18-19 July has urged the region’s Christians, Jews and Muslims to engage in dialogue to build a shared future.
“History, like religion, teaches us that there is only one future: a shared future,” said Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Holy See’s Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. “What is important is not to stop but rather to continue our dialogue, our pilgrimage towards the truth, with the conviction that ‘it is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; it is because we do not dare that they are difficult’”.
Cardinal Tauran also called for local Christians to be extended their fundamental rights in the Holy Land:
“For the local Christians, like for the Jews and the Muslims, Jerusalem is not only a holy city, it is also their home city where they have a right to continue to live and to work. They must be granted and have secured the most fundamental rights: freedom of conscience and freedom of religion, freedom of movement, civic and historical rights, education, hospitals, the possession of their own institutions (seminaries, universities, monasteries, etc.). Of course, all this has to be recognized not only for Christians, but for all the inhabitants of the Holy Land.”