Archbishop welcomes Vatican call for Christians and Muslims to be educators of peace and human rights


9 October 2007

To mark the feast of Eid, as Ramadan ends, the Archbishop of Southwark has echoed a Vatican call for the promotion of a fraternal society for the good of all – irrespective of race or religion.

The Most Revd Kevin McDonald, Chair of the Committee for Other Faiths of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, has welcomed the message from Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue:

“[Cardinal Tauran] reminds us of the obligation to witness with our lives to our religious beliefs and to work together for the good of all.”

It’s Cardinal Tauran’s first message to the Muslim community after succeeding Cardinal Poupard as President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

*NEW* audio interview with Archbishop Kevin McDonald – Chair of the Committee for Other Faiths

Archbishop McDonald speaks to the Catholic Communications Network (CCN) about the opportunities of interreligious dialogue and Cardinal Tauran’s message to Muslim communities at the end of Ramadan.

click here for mp3 (7mb)


Eid al-Fitr is on Friday, 12th October 2007

Cardinal Tauran’s message from the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue can be found here:

Archbishop Kevin McDonald’s cover letter to Cardinal Tauran’s message

Archbishop McDonald’s interview with the CCN took place at Archbishop’s House, Southwark.

.wav clips available on request

About the network of Interreligious Coordinators in England and Wales
In the Catholic Church there is an increasing awareness of the urgent need for better interreligious understanding and respect, and of the dialogue that can lead to that.

To assist this process, Interreligious Coordinators and personnel have been appointed across the dioceses to animate and support the multi-faceted work of dialogue.

Diocesan Interreligious Co-ordinators now have a national network, and an annual meeting organised by the Bishops’ Committee for Other Faiths. This enables them to provide mutual support and inspiration and to learn from each others’ experience.

Naturally the dioceses with the larger number of members of other religions, and with the greater resources, have been able to take more developed initiatives.

As a result of all this a two-way strategy is evolving: ‘Inwards’, leading to programmes of formation for clergy and laity, so that everyone can learn about other religions, and still more important, understand the nature of dialogue and its part in the Church’s evangelising mission; and ‘Outwards’, leading to contacts and constructive relations with the other religions, and the practice of dialogue in its various forms.

This is precisely what is meant by ‘Dialogue of Action’, where we stand alongside other religions in the cause of human rights and in the care of our planet.

For more information or to interview a Diocesan Interreligious Coordinator on the Eid message and the Catholic Church’s work with other faiths, please contact the CCN:

t: 020 7901 4800