The Catholic Church has called for a united effort with Muslims in working to uphold the dignity and well-being of children throughout the world.
The President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald made the call in a message issued to mark the Muslim Holy month of Ramadan, which will draw to a close with the feast of Id al-Fitr, to be celebrated towards November 14.
In his message, Archbishop Fitzgerald pointed to the Islamic practice of teaching children at a young age the importance of prayer, fasting and religious observance.
“In this way the family is par excellence, the place where your children receive their first religious education,” he said.
On several occasions in recent years, representatives of the Holy See and of countries with a Muslim majority had together defended fundamental human values, he said.
But, he said many children still suffered, from involvement in wars and conflicts, from sexual abuse, prostitution, family breakdown, drugs and drug trafficking, trafficking in organs and from AIDS.
“Faced with these evils that affect our children, dear friends, we should unite our efforts, reminding people of the dignity of every human being whose existence is will by God Himself,” the message said.
“We are conscious that on the future of children depends the future of humanity. I hope therefore that our common endeavours in favour of children will continue and may in fact increase. In this way we shall give further proof of the benefit that can come from religion for the whole human community.”
Australian Catholic Bishops Conference President Archbishop Francis Carroll welcomed the message and said the Catholic Church in Australia extended prayerful best wishes to Muslims preparing to celebrate the end of Ramadan.
“This call for a united effort from Christians and Muslims in promoting the dignity of each human being builds on the work already being done in interfaith relations in Australia,” Archbishop Carroll said.
“We are blessed to live in a country in which these two ancient faiths can build on their common values and beliefs in working to promote a more just society.
“I extend prayerful good wishes to our Muslim friends at this time.”
Released by the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference