On February 5, at United Nations Headquarters in New York, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, gave an intervention during the Side Event entitled “The New York Interfaith Dialogue: Building Social Cohesion and Inclusive Communities,” sponsored by the Permanent Mission of Ecuador and UNITAR. His intervention was delivered by Msgr. Tomasz Grysa, Deputy Permanent Observer.
In his remarks, Archbishop Auza underlined the joint declaration on Human Fraternity for World Peace signed yesterday in Abu Dhabi by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam Ahmad Al-Tayyeb of Al-Azhar University in Cairo and distributed copies for those in attendance. He likewise mentioned Pope Francis’ desire to build an “ark of fraternity” based on mutual reverence for others according to their dignity as willed by the Creator. He mentioned Pope Francis’ preference for an interreligious dialogue that involves journeying together rather than merely talking together and how it involves not just self-knowledge but also knowledge of the other as a brother or sister. He highlighted five particular fruits of authentic, sincere, existential dialogue: it shows all of society how to converse about the most important and profound matters and work respectfully through what may divide; it leads to working together for the common good; it gives a common witness in an increasingly secular society of the importance of the life of faith and the light it gives to ethical debates; it enables a joint testimony against religiously-motivated violence and provides a means to clean the swamps in which such extremism breeds; and it magnifies the witness of individual religious about the importance of the transcendent dimension of human life, which serves as a compass to help humanity find the true meaning of life.
The statement can be found here.