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Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Text: Pope tells Grand Mufti of Jerusalem that promise to Abraham is universal [rather than to Jews?]

"the realization of the promise made to Abraham is universal in its scope,
embracing all men and women, without regard to its origin or its social
status"

JERUSALEM - 12.05.2009
Esplanade of the Mosques

Courtesy visit to the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem
Unofficial
PRESS OFFICE OF THE HOLY SEE 12 May 2009
[Translation from French version]

Dear Muslim Friends,
As-salamu 'alaikum! Peace be with you!

I cordially thank the Grand Mufti, Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, and the Chairman
of the Islamic Waqf of Jerusalem, Sheikh Mohammed Azzam al-Khatib
al-Tamimi, and the Chief of Awquaf Council, Sheikh Abdel Azim Salhab, for
their kind words of welcome. I am deeply grateful for the invitation to
visit this sacred place and I gladly present my respects to you and the
leadership of the Muslim community in Jerusalem.

The Dome of the Rock invites our hearts and our minds to reflect on the
mystery of creation and the faith of Abraham. Here, the paths of the three
great monotheistic religions of the world meet, reminding us what they have
in common. Each believes in one God, creator and governing all things. Each
recognizes an ancestor Abraham, a man of faith that God gave a special
blessing. Each was attended by many disciples throughout centuries and has
inspired a rich spiritual, intellectual and cultural.

Sadly in a world torn by divisions, this holy place is stimulating and also
men and women of good will on the challenge of working in order to overcome
misunderstandings and conflicts of the past and that open the way to a
sincere dialogue to build a world of justice and peace for future
generations.

Since the teachings of religious traditions are, ultimately, the reality of
God, the sense of life and the common destiny of humanity - ie, all that is
most sacred and most precious to us - we here may be tempted to engage in a
dialogue with fear and doubt about the prospects of success. However, we
can start to rely on faith in the One God of infinite justice and mercy,
because it these two qualities exist in a perfect unity. Those who believed
in his name have a duty to strive tirelessly to be just imitating his
pardon, because the two qualities are intrinsically oriented toward peaceful
coexistence and harmonious human family.

For this reason, it is of utmost importance that those who worship the One
God can show that are both rooted in and oriented towards the unity of the
whole human family. In other words, fidelity to God One, the Creator, the
Most High, leads us to recognize that human beings are fundamentally in
relation to one with others, since all owe their existence to a genuine
single source and all work towards a common purpose. Indelibly marked with
the seal of the divine, they are called to play an active role in repairing
the divisions and promoting human solidarity.

This places upon us a great responsibility. Those who honor the One God
believe it will be the people accountable for their actions. Christians
claim that the divine gift of reason and freedom is the basis for this duty
to answer for his actions. The result opens the mind to understand the
nature and the destiny of the human family, while the freedom grows hearts
to accept others and to serve in love. Love indivisible for the One God and
love our neighbor become the pivot around which everything revolves. That is
why we working tirelessly to protect human hearts from hatred, anger or
revenge.

Dear friends, I came to Jerusalem for a pilgrimage of faith. I thank God for
this opportunity to to meet you as Bishop of Rome and Successor of the
Apostle Peter, but also as a son of Abraham, in whom "Will be blessed all
the families of the earth" (Genesis 12, 3, cf. Rm 4, 16-17). I assure you
that the Church is eager cooperate well-being of the human family. She
firmly believes that the realization of the promise made to Abraham is
universal in its scope, embracing all men and women, without regard to its
origin or its social status. While Muslims and Christians continued
respectful dialogue they have begun, I pray they search for the oneness of
God is inextricably bound up with the unity of the human family. By
submitting to its loving the creation, studying the law written in the
cosmos and engraved in the heart of man, reflecting on the mysterious gift
of autorevelation God, believers can continue to keep their eyes fixed on
the absolute goodness of God, without ever losing sight of how it is
reflected on the faces of others!

With these sentiments, I humbly ask the Almighty to bring peace and to bless
all beloved people of this region. May we strive to live in a spirit of
harmony and cooperation, bearing witness to the One God by serving others
generously! Thank you.

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