Muslim Americans Call for Serious Dialogue with Pope Benedict XVI

April 17, 2008

Correction: Due to high-level security at the Pope John Paul Cultural Center, the letter addressed to Pope Benedict the XVI was not delivered. MPAC will send the letter today to the U.S. Conference of Bishops and the Vatican.

In an interfaith meeting on April 17th with Pope Benedict XVI, the Muslim Public Affairs Council issued a statement calling for meaningful dialogue on Muslim-Catholic issues. The letter called for vital engagement between the head of the Catholic Church and Muslim Americans. 

MPAC declined the invitation to join the interfaith meeting between the Pope and religious community leaders in Washington, DC, due to the absence of substantive dialogue as part of the agenda.

SEE: "Hope--and Skepticism" (Newsweek, 4/16/08)

"We would like to engage Pope Benedict XVI in honest and serious dialogue that does not overlook real differences, but builds mutual respect between the Vatican and the American Muslim community," said Salam Al-Marayati, Executive Director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council. MPAC calls on other Muslim American groups to add their voices to the letter requesting a substantive dialogue with the Pope. The letter states in part:

"We have always sought and will continue to seek harmonious relations with our Catholic neighbors and fellow citizens. This requires that we engage each other in honest and serious dialogue that does not overlook real differences, but always remains respectful and truly sincere, and gives each side ample opportunity to express its views. Thus, we reiterate our commitment to actively work with the Catholic Church and American Catholics on all issues of common ground, whether it is creating justice for all, ending poverty, or preserving human dignity and human life. Should you wish to engage Muslim Americans in a serious exchange of views; the Muslim American community stands ready to participate."

Founded in 1988, the Muslim Public Affairs Council is an American institution which informs and shapes public opinion and policy by serving as a trusted resource to decision makers in government, media and policy institutions. MPAC is also committed to developing leaders with the purpose of enhancing the political and civic participation of Muslim Americans. MPAC offices are located in Washington, DC, New York City and Los Angeles, CA.

Help us continue our work with a quick
one-time or monthly donation.