The following is the Final Declaration of the Fifth Colloquium of the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies (RIIFS) of Amman, Jordan, and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, which took place on 9 and 10 May in Amman, on the theme “Religions and the Dignity of Life: Christian and Muslim Viewpoints”:
The Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies (RIIFS) (Amman, Jordan) and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID) (Vatican City), held their fifth Colloquium in Amman on 9 and 10 May 2018.
HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies, presided over the RIIFS delegation, meanwhile Most Reverend Bishop Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, headed the PCID Delegation representing the President His Eminence Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, who was unable to attend the Colloquium.
The participants sent their prayerful wishes to Cardinal Tauran, thanking him for his message and for his continued commitment to interreligious dialogue.
Each delegation was composed of twelve participants and of three observers.
The theme under study was “Religions and the Dignity of Life: Christian and Muslim Viewpoints”.
Prof. Abdel Jabbar Al-Refae and Dr Youssef Kamal El-Hage presented the first sub theme: “Religions and the Dignity of Life: Challenges”, from Islamic and Christian viewpoints. Prof. Wajih Kanso moderated the session.
The second session, moderated by Msgr. Khaled Akasheh, addressed the topic “Religions and the Dignity of Life: Opportunities”. Msgr. Bernard Munono and Prof. Mohammad Ali Azar Shab addressed the participants on this subject.
During the third session, the participants listened to H.E. Grand Mufti Husein Kavazović and to Dr Paola Bernardini presenting the last sub-theme “Religions and the Dignity of Life: Perspectives”. Prof. Hichem Grissa moderated the session.
The RIIFS invited the participants to a Concert with Sister Marie Keyrouz and the Salam Choir.
The Colloquium took place in a friendly and open atmosphere, which favored a rich exchange of ideas and views on the theme and related issues.
At the end of the meeting the participants agreed on the following recommendations:
Life is God’s gift to all members of the one human family; therefore, it should be protected from its conception to its natural end.
The human being is the apex of creation, endowed with dignity, rights and duties. This is why each person deserves respect, love and all means necessary for a dignified life.
There is a strong relationship between respect for human dignity and rights, on the one hand, and the progress and prosperity of a nation, on the other. This relationship constitutes another motive for promoting human dignity. Shared feelings, values and conceptions deserve special attention.
Migrants, refugees and victims of human trafficking deserve special attention and care, to have their life and dignity safeguarded, taking into account the anthropological meaning of suffering.
Younger generations need to be educated to respect creation and the dignity of life. The idea of an ethical code to be taught at schools merits thorough study, taking into account the negative phenomena in our societies.
The Catholic delegation expressed profound gratitude to HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal, to the Director of RIIFS, Dr Majeda Omar, and to all the staff.
At the end of the Colloquium a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the two parties, confirming and institutionalizing their ongoing and fruitful collaboration. RIIFS also signed a memorandum with Ez-Zitouna University, Tunisia, and the Centre for Dialogue and Action, Pakistan.