PONTIFICAL COUNCIL for INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE

 Final Declaration del IV Catholic-Muslim Forum
(8 November 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
Development”
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
Development”
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,
Rome
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.