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Christian scholars on Islam like Kenneth Cragg and Paul Jackson SJ has taught that we should listen to Muslims to understand Islam. I have the pleasant job of introducing Islam and Christian Muslim relations every year to a group of young Christians mostly religious men and women at the Vidyajyoti College of Theology (http://vidyajyoti.in/). Every year besides class room instructions and interactions, we invite Muslims to speak to us. This year the following program are organized the students of Christian theology at VJ, Delhi. Please keep these programs in your prayers.
Interaction with Muslim brothers and sisters
Session 1 Date 18 August 2015
Topic for discussion: The Impact of Sufism on the composite culture of India
I think it is time to respond to the calls of the Papal Encyclicals, namely CARITAS IN VERITATE, EVANGELII GAUDIUM, LAUDATO SI on the issue of inequality. This has been a root of the many global economic problems, ending in poverty for billions of people in the world. I would like to stress on two economic sectors, which are intertwined: Real Estate and Banking.
The InterFaith Tour is the world tour of interfaith initiatives. For 10 months, Lucie (Christian), Samir (Muslim), Ariane (atheist) and Lea (Jewish) will cross no fewer than 34 countries to meet the interfaith initiatives to understand, question and value them and to put them in network between themselves.
Council 50 is a project that gives an opportunity to all communities, groups, parishes and associations to share, on an equal footing, their vision for a 21st century Church inspired by the Gospel for the world, thereby responding to the calls of our Pope Francis.
For over a year, the Pope Francis has made repeated calls to all members of our Church to ensure that she lives according to the Gospel, and to live in the spirit of Jesus in our complex world. It is precisely these initiatives and proposals of groups, associations, communities, parishes, often fruits of the seeds sown during the Council Vatican II, that Council 50 aims to collect and compile during the worldwide gathering of delegates scheduled in Rome from November 20-22, 2015 to create the Charter of Council 50, which will be offered to the Pope during his jubilee celebration of the closing of Vatican II.
With his last book "Auslaufmodell - Where pope Francis drives the church?", Dr Paul Zulehner proposes a pastoral theology essay with a collection of papal caricatures. Some of them are available on his website homepage : www.zulehner.org
- Blast! Whenever he reads it, he always gets these ideas
- I don't like that!
- C’est à chaque fois qu’il lit ça, qu’il lui vient ces idées…
- Ouais, ça ne me plait pas !
UPR Info, together with its partners, organised a successful workshop for civil society organizations working in the area of human rights; with a special focus on Universal Periodic Review (UPR) this was a second workshop and a follow-up to a similar one that was held in March 2015 and proposed an implementation strategy and an action plan to implement UPR recommendations. Kenya Movement of Catholic Professionals (KMCP) Paxromana and its two partner organizations in Kenya in the area of UPR i.e. Edmund Rice Advocacy Network (ERAN) and Franciscans International(FI) participated in the workshop.
The Rise of a New Kind of Political and Religious Fundamentalism in Europe?
Let me begin my paper with a personal remark. In this semester I have conducted a seminar entitled “Introduction to Women’s, Men’s and Gender Studies in Theological Research” at the Faculty of Catholic Theology, University of Vienna. With the participants – ecclesiastical students, theologians, philosophers and students majoring in Gender Studies – we have discussed what gender means and how gender equality can be achieved today in everyday life (family or work), or life in the Church.
A Pan African Call to a Conversation on Pope Francis Encyclical ‘Laudato Si’
Pope Francis’ Encyclical Laudato Si is a worldwide wake up call to help humanity understand the destruction that man is rendering to the environment and his fellow man. Although the document directly addresses itself to issues of the environment, its scope is broader in many ways as delves into many philosophical, theological, and cultural causes that threaten the relationships of man to nature as well as man to his fellow man, in many ways.
This document is unique in many ways. Like Pope Saint John XXIII’s Pacem in Terris, it departs from previous Papal documents as it is not only addressed to Catholic faithful but all people of good. In fact, the Pope states clearly this intention from the onset: “In this Encyclical, I would like to enter into dialogue with all people about our common home” (#3).
In the cooperation process between ISCAM* (International Specialized Catholic Action Movements) initiated June 17, 2014, we gathered on 22 and 23 May 2015. We were hosted by JOC France at their headquarters. We had 3 main questions:
1 - What is the current relevance of our almost centennial founding intuitions? (Starting from human realities, option for the poor, working by, for and with the people, articulate faith and life ...)
2 - How do we stand in the Church with the changes after Council Vatican II and the message of Pope Francis?
3 - How to make this common heritage fruitful for the world today?
Abstract of my book "culture of benevolence"
In relation to society there can be some structures identified as hierarchic – democratic – humanitarian. But we have to go further than that. All these structures – according to the Anima Magna culture – need to be filled with benevolence for all and magnanimous thinking for all:
"I want to live and I want, that you live. We all care that we all exist well".
Here's a little more background on the Argentinian "theology of the people" now made famous by Pope Francis from an excellent new, little book, Le pape du peuple, which is a series of interviews by Bernadette Sauvaget with the theologian Juan Carlos Scannone.
As noted previously, Scannone, who cites his participation at an important conference organised by ICMICA in Rome in 1974, is one of a trio of Argentinian theologians alongside Lucio Gera and Rafaël Tello, whose influence on Pope Francis he confirms, who were responsible for the development of the theology of the people.
Peace and greetings.
Welcome to July 2015 issue of Salaam.
Recently a Muslim friend asked me about the statutes in the Church whether Christians worship statues. In other words: Are Christians idol worshipers? We had a very helpful religious conversation around the topic. I would like to share with you...
On 3 July 2015 the Education Minister of the Maharashtra government dropped a bomb shell. He announced that Madrasas which do not teach primary subjects such as English, Maths and Science would be considered as "non-schools" and children studying in them as "out of school" kids. This decision was conveyed in a letter written by the state’s minority affairs department to the school education department. This directional order drew fierce criticism from several quarters including the opposition parties, and from many Muslims and Muslim institutions (See: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/maharashtra/madrasas-de-recognised-in-maharashtra-classified-as-non-schools/#sthash.m43zVeTW.dpuf). Reacting sharply to the government decision, the president of the All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen(AIMIM), Asaduddin Owaisi, questioned the rationale behind the government’s decision, since “there are many madrasas that are teaching Maths, English and science. Many madrasa students have gone ahead and cracked civil services exams,”he said (See: http://www.msn.com/en-in/news/other/muslim-leaders-oppn-criticise-move-to-call-madrasas-non-schools/ar-AAcsLQD).
According to the recent media reporting more than 700 natives of Karachi Pakistan have lost their lives due to heat wave strokes. This is the most terrible catastrophe occurred in these two to three days in Pakistan. Government is not taking serious measures on climate change whereas the other countries around the world are screaming loudly about climate justice.
Father Thomas V Kunnunkal SJ, President of Islamic Studies Association (Delhi), along with Father T. K. John Professor Emeritus, Fr P.R. John SJ and Victor Edwin SJ of Vidyajyoti College of Theology visited Maulana Wahiduddin Khan 22 June 2015 at his residence in West Nizamuddin, Delhi and delivered the message that Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Commission for Interreligious Dialogue sent to Muslims to wish them a peaceful and joyful celebration of the month of Ramzan and Eid al-Fitr, the celebration that marks the end of Ramadan”.
In his encyclical “Be Praised” (Laudato Si) the Pope Francis cited a ninth century mystical Muslim poet Ali-al-Khawas while emphasizing the presence of God in this world. Pope wrote that a ‘mystical meaning’ should be found in a leaf, in a mountain trail, in a dew drop, in a poor person’s face. (Pope Francis’ words remind me of Gerard Manley Hopkins … the world is charged with the grandeur of God …).
UN Office Geneva from 01st -05th June 2015
Participants of Sharing Session
Staff Members & Students from Forman Christian College Lahore, Kinnaird College Lahore, St. Anthony High School Lahore and Interfaith Commission for Community Development Lahore, Pakistan
Dated 08th June 2015, about one hour sharing session was organized at Lahore Pakistan. The video-link sharing session was about my recent experience during International Labor Conference 2015, UN Session Geneva Switzerland as an observer and to do lobby work. A mixed gender group of young students and professionals named Ms Anika Samuel, Ms. Hina Yousaf, Ms. Beenish Daood (Sociology Department), Mr. Nadeem Tabassum (Bio Informatics Department), Mr. Raheel Romail (Computer Science Department), Ms. Sarah Julian (Food Safety Department), Mr. Nobel Waris (Bio Technology Department), Mr. Qindeel Rabbani (Computer Science Department), Mr. Kamil Dass (College Student), Mr. Faran Najam CIMA (Accounting) Mr. Faris Najam HND (Business Department) and Mr. Danish (Former Member of IMCS Lahore, Pakistan).
Since taking office, Pope Francis has profoundly reminded the church about the Christian vocation to work for a more just, equitable, and sustainable world. This task, he insists, becomes all the more urgent in the face of contemporary global challenges such as climate change, inequalities, the refugees crisis, and the passive attitude that he describes as “the globalization of indifference.” In Evangelii Gaudium, Francis makes this task clear:
“the Gospel is not merely about our personal relationship with God. Nor should our loving response to God be seen simply as an accumulation of small personal gestures to individuals in need, a kind of “charity à la carte”, or a series of acts aimed solely at easing our conscience. The Gospel is about the kingdom of God (cf. Lk 4:43); it is about loving God who reigns in our world. To the extent that he reigns within us, the life of society will be a setting for universal fraternity, justice, peace and dignity. Both Christian preaching and life, then, are meant to have an impact on society. (180)”
But what is the best way for us to have a positive “impact on society?” How can any of us ever have an impact on destructive attitudes and social arrangements, what the Catholic tradition describes as “structures of sin”?