CATHOLICS, MUSLIMS UNITE TO PROTECT FAMILIES

30-Jul-97

EWTN Vatican Update (CWN) -- Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, the head of the Pontifical Council for the Family, emphasized the role of the family in a speech which he delivered to the Supreme Council on Islamic Affairs in Rome. That address, delivered in Egypt earlier in July, was released by the Vatican this week. Cardinal Trujillo recalled the "profound convergence" of opinions between Catholic and Islamic leaders during the UN conference on population, held in Cairo in 1994. He praised the Islamic community for defending the family and the dignity of human life, and observed that the Catholic-Muslim alliance had ensured that "life will not be trampled under by selfish economic interests." In order to build up a "civilization of love," the cardinal said, Christians and Muslims together must work together, affirming the dignity of human life and protecting the family in which life is nurtured. According to the beliefs shared by members of both religious traditions, he pointed out, "All nations form one great family, the family of all mankind," and all human beings are children of God. Recent UN conferences have helped to underline "the necessity of forming life and relations according to the natural law, in accordance with the irreplaceable ethical principles" which are derived from the great monotheistic religions, Cardinal Trujillo added. He pointed out that the Gospel and the Qu'ran both stand in clear opposition to the "tyranny of sex without responsibility, sex suffocated by egotism" which has gained strength in international politics in recent years. Cardinal Trujillo also devoted several paragraphs of his speech to a topic which was less welcome to his Islamic audience: the principle of religious freedom. The Catholic Church has often been at odds with Islamic countries regarding the treatment of members of religious minorities, including Catholics.