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Dichiarazione Finale del IV Catholic-Muslim Forum (8 novembre 2017, Berkeley, USA), 10.11.2017

The Catholic-Muslim Forum, established in 2008 by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (P.C.I.D.) and the Signatories of the “Open Letter” (A Common Word) to Pope Benedict XVI and other Christian Leaders, held its Fourth Seminar in Berkeley (CA, USA), from 6th to 8th November 2017 on the theme, “Integral Human Development: Growing in Dignity. Catholic and Muslim perspectives.”

The Seminar, hosted by Zaytuna College, was held under the patronage of HRH Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of Jordan, Coordinator of the Muslim side of the Forum, and that of His Eminence Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the P.C.I.D.

The theme was studied under three sub-themes, treated respectively from the Catholic and the Muslims viewpoints: 1) “What does it mean to be human?”; 2) “Integral human development”; and 3) “Obstacles and opportunities to integral human development.”

Twelve persons from each side participated, along with six observers.

The Muslim delegation was led by Shaykh Dr. Hamza Yusuf, President of Zaytuna College, and the Christian delegation by the Most Reverend Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, M.C.C.J., Secretary of the P.C.I.D., on behalf of Cardinal Tauran.

The Participants from the Muslim side were as follows:

1) Imam Zaid Shakir

Co-Founder and Senior Faculty Member, Zaytuna College, Berkeley, California, USA

2) Hatem Bazian, Ph.D.

Provost and Co-Founder, Zaytuna College, Berkeley, California, USA

3) Omar Quraishi, Ph.D.

Faculty, Zaytuna College, Berkeley, California, USA

Presenter: “What it Means to Be Human”

4) Shaykh Omar Abboud

Director of the Institute for Interreligious Dialogue, Argentina

5) Tarek Elgawhary, Ph.D.

Presenter: Integral Human Development, CEO Coexist Foundation

6) Ismail Alatas, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at NYU

7) Abdullah bin Hamid Ali, Ph.D.

Faculty, Zaytuna College, Berkeley, California, USA

8) Walead Mosaad, Ph.D.

Director of Muslim Student Life at Lehigh

Presenter: “Obstacles and Opportunities to Integral Human


9) Ali Ataie, Ph.D.

Faculty, Zaytuna College, Berkeley, California, USA

10) Shaykh Faraz Khan

Faculty, Zaytuna College, Berkeley, California, USA

11) Eiyad Al-Kutubi, Ph.D.

Faculty, Zaytuna College, Berkeley, California, USA

The Observers from the Muslim side were as follows:

1) Mr. Lutfi H. Asfour

Director of the Office of HRH Prince Ghazi Bin Muhammad

2) Mr. Nabil Al Saheb

First Deputy of the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought

3) Mark Delp, Ph.D.

Dean of Faculty, Zaytuna College, Berkeley, California, USA

4) Rev. Francisco Nahoe, O.F.M. Conv.

Faculty Member, Zaytuna College, Berkeley, California, USA

5) Munir Jiwa, Ph.D.

Founding Director, Center for Islamic Studies at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California, USA

6) Aisha Subhani, M.D.

Member of the Board of Trustees, Zaytuna College, Berkeley, California, USA

7) Asad Tarsin, M.D.

Curriculum Director, Deen Intensive Foundation

The participants from the Catholic side were as follows:

1) Monsignor Khaled Akasheh

Bureau Chief for Islam, P.C.I.D.

2) Youssef Kamal El-Hage, Ph.D.

Professor at Notre Dame University, Lebanon

Presenter subtheme 1: “What Does it Mean to be Human?”

3) Reverend Prof. Dr. Mohan Doss, S.V.D.

Dean of Theology, Pune, India

Presenter Subtheme 2: “Integral Human Development: A Catholic Perspective”

4) Ms. Flaminia Giovanelli, Ph.D.

Under-Secretary, Dicastery for the Service of Human Integral Development,

Vatican City

Presenter Subtheme 3: “Obstacles and Opportunities to Integral Human


5) Most Reverend Felix A. Machado

Bishop of Vasai, India

Representative of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (F.A.B.C.)

6) Most Reverend Michael Charles Barber, S.I.

Bishop of Oakland, California, USA

7) Most Reverend James Massa

Auxiliary Bishop of Brooklyn, New York, USA

8) Reverend Joseph Komakoma

Secretary General and Representative, Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (S.E.C.A.M.), Accra, Ghana

9) Reverend Andrea Pacini, Ph.D.

Representative, Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE)

Torino, Italy

10) Prof. Paolo G. Carozza

Director, Kellogg Institute for International Studies

Professor of Law and Concurrent Professor of Political Science

University of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA

11) Monsignor Labib Copti

Priest of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, San Francisco, California, USA.

The Observers from the Catholic side were:

1) Reverend Russel Murray, OFM, Ph.D.

General Animator for Evangelization, General Curia of Franciscan Friars,


2) Reverend Kevin O’Brien, S.J., Ph.D.

Dean and University Professor, Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara

Berkeley, California, USA.

3) Reverend Bernard Poggi

Priest of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, Berkeley, California, USA.

4) Sister Marianne Farina, CSC, Ph.D.

Dominican School of Philosophy and the Theology, Berkeley, California, USA.

5) Ms. Giulia Nembrini, B.A., M.A.

Member of Communion and Liberation, USA

6) Anh Q. Tran, S.J.

Assistant Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology

Jesuit School of Theology, Santa Clara University, Berkeley, California, USA

After listening to the presentation of the Papers by Muslim and Catholic Scholars, the participants noted with satisfaction significant convergences between their respective traditions. Such convergences constitute a motive of hope not only for Christians and Muslims but for all, favoring a meaningful collaboration for the promotion of integral human development.

After sharing viewpoints, ideas, and concerns, the participants agreed on the following:

1) Christianity and Islam both assert that God created humanity, placing it at the very summit of creation, for use with gratitude and wisdom with respect for the laws of nature as stewards for the earth and her resources gifted by Almighty God for all generations.

2) God bestowed on every human being inalienable dignity from which fundamental human rights are derived, as well as the obligation of governments to protect them.

3) We assert the equal dignity and value of all persons irrespective of their race, gender, religion, or social status, and we categorically condemn any attempts to stereotype any people or attribute collective guilt to them for the actions of individuals among them.

4) Freedom of conscience and of religion resides at the peak of the edifice of human rights. Therefore, our collective duty demands that we respect, preserve, and promote such rights.

5) God, our Creator, wills the integral growth of every human being for the full flourishing of God’s gifts: body, soul, intellect, and spirit.

6) Christianity and Islam have moral, intellectual, and spiritual resources that can contribute to the integral human development of both individuals and communities. Persons of good will committed to the common good are the natural allies of believers desirous of the holistic development of persons, communities, and all of humanity and the conservation of the environment that sustains us.

7) As believers, we are called to do all we can to address all that hinders the integral development of humanity, including any erroneous interpretations or understandings of our respective sacred texts and traditions.

8) We believe that insecurity, conflicts, and the proliferation of armaments constitute grave obstacles to the realization of God’s will for humanity, its wellbeing and growth in peace and security. This is why we consider it our moral obligation to denounce wars and the arms trade that facilitate them, and instead use humanity’s resources for our personal and collective flourishing.

9) Together, as believers, we assert that those in need of development must be enabled to fulfill their destiny, allowing them to take their rightful place as full members of the human family according to God’s will.

[01688-EN.01] [Original text: English]