Below is an excerpt of a report on CiNews about the launch of a new centre for Inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue between Christians and Muslims, that was inaugurated on Monday in Vienna.

“The Holy See has accepted an invitation to be a founding observer at a new centre for Inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue between Christians and Muslims.

On Monday (November 26) a Vatican delegation attended the inauguration ceremony in Vienna of the new, King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Inter-religious and Inter-cultural Dialogue, (KAICIID).  The centre is the initiative of the King of Saudi Arabia and has three founder States, viz. the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Austria and the Kingdom of Spain.

The Director of the Press Office of the Holy See, Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. said that the new institution will foster dialogue among religions and cultures.

“This goal is to be regarded favourably with a view to fostering understanding and peaceful coexistence among populations, a matter of fundamental urgency for humanity today and in the future.  The King of Saudi Arabia, Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, and the Holy Father discussed these aims during their meeting on November 6 2007 in Vatican City,” he said.

“The Holy See should take the opportunity to be present, to offer experience and trusted expertise in the field of inter-religious dialogue.  The status of founding observer is most apt to guarantee just such a presence, respecting the nature of the Holy See and permitting the Holy See to express specific concerns and expectations.”

By Ann Marie Foley

Read more here