We work at the grassroots level throughout the Muslim World to counter violent extremism before it takes hold, to promote tolerance and understanding, and to foster better relations with the United States.
The following post is from contributing blogger and social media intern Mary Kazarian. Mary is an undergraduate at George Mason University studying the Middle East and International Relations and hopes to one day move to her native land of Lebanon.
The election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires as Pope could be an important milestone in Catholic-Muslim world relations. In an article published by Daniel Tutt, the Interfaith Activist and Fellow at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding at Huffington Post, St. Francis is described as universally compassionate and a bold peacemaker with the Muslim world. So it may not be happen chance that the new pope landed on the name Francis and Tutt sees improving relations with the Muslim world as an important goal for the Church.
“The election of Pope Francis comes at a time when the Church faces a whole host of challenges as an institution, and when it comes to external relations, the future of relations with the Muslim world should be a top priority.”
The birth of a new initiative, the Common Word Between Us and You that took root in 2007 is just one example of a Catholic-Muslim initiative. It joins leaders in events and dialogues held around the world between Christians and Muslims. Tutt explains that the initiative’s efforts “should be expanded and Muslim leaders will hopefully be invited back to the Vatican for further engagement.” The new election of Pope Francis shows a path forward with mutual understanding and maybe what’s in a name after all.