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WASHINGTON—Bishop Denis Madden, auxiliary bishop of Baltimore and chairman of the Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) sent a message of support and friendship, August 17, to the U.S. Muslim community to mark the end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of prayer and fasting. Ramadan concludes the evening of August 18 this year.
Bishop Madden's message echoed the August 3 statement of Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.
Full text of Bishop Madden's letter follows:
Dear Muslim Friends,
It is with great joy that I share with you the annual message of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue for the end of Ramadan (`Id al-Fitr 1433 H. /2012 A.D.) entitled Educating young Christians and Muslims for justice and peace (see www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/interelg/documents/rc_pc_interelg_doc_20120803_ramadan2012_en.html).
In addition to Cardinal Tauran's message, I would like to add my own greetings. First, I would simply offer a greeting of peace and my congratulations on the conclusion of your month-long vigil of fasting, prayer, and works of mercy in service to the one God who rules over us all with benevolence and who daily conveys to the world His abundant blessings!
Second, having worked with many of you over a long period of time and so having been a witness to the great trust that has been established in our creative work together, I would like to exhort us all to continue our endeavors in the hope of preparing a sure foundation for the coming generations of American Christians and Muslims. They look to us for guidance and as exemplars of the peace and harmony intrinsic to productive, positive interreligious work.
Third, I would like to add to Cardinal Tauran's remarks on education that we also keep close to our own work in the dialogues the need for supporting one another's endeavors to safeguard religious freedom, which often seems to be threatened in the modern public square. Together let us commit to joining our voices in support of religious liberty, both for our fellow Christians and Muslims today and for those who will come after us.
Finally, on behalf of the Bishops' Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, please accept our continued support and pledge of friendship as we move forward together standing shoulder to shoulder in loving service and fidelity to God.
Happy `Id al-Fitr to you all!
Bishop Denis Madden
Keywords: Catholic-Muslim dialogue, Islam, Bishop Denis Madden, Ramadan, community, friendship, support, Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, USCCB, U.S. bishops, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Christians, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, education
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