"The Dialogue Among the `Children of Abraham'"
Ouest France, June 16, 1994
Christians, Jews and Muslims together at the Sorbonne
While in the Vatican the Cardinals envisioned with the Pope a large monotheistic meeting in the Sinai for the year 2000 ("Ouest France" of yesterday), Monday, in Paris, a symposium gathered believers of the three religions, to indeed affirm the urgency of this dialogue!
"The Children of Abraham should never again be separated!" Under the gaze of the Richelieu of the Sorbonne, Christians, Jews, and Muslims promised each other Monday evening, at the end of a three-party symposium, to resolutely continue their dialogue in depth, despite the fanaticism, the intolerance, and the terrorism which still bloody the planet and distort the testimony of the believers.
Organized by the ADIC - Association for International Muslim-Christian Dialogue and Interreligious Conferences - this symposium was completely open to Jews, these "older brothers" (Jaun Paul II's expression) of the monotheistic revelation. With the help of the peace process in the Holy Land, the Ambassadors of Israel and Egypt thus found themselves again at the same table in Paris, although without the general delegate of Palestine in France, as had been announced.
And … Jerusalem?
This was the occasion for the Israeli Yehuda Lancry to pay homage to the Egyptian Anwar Sadat who first chose to make peace with the Jewish neighbor, already well installed on the land of his remote ancestors. "Mutual recognition", affirmed the diplomat, "is at the foundation of a new relationship".
It was also the occasion for his "friend and colleague", the Egyptian Aly Maher El-Sayed, to invite Israel to come to the logical conclusion of accepting to look for a "special status" for Jerusalem, this city of peace, unique in the world, since it is three times holy: for the Jews, for the Christians, and for the Muslims. "A city which belongs to all mankind", added El-Sayed, thus emphasizing that Israel will no longer be able, at the end of the process, to be the only state to consider Israel as its capital.
The militants of the interreligious dialogue have a long way to go before achieving their ideal of peace and brotherhood! They are aware of the "ethnic cleansing" - in Bosnia, in Rwanda, or in Algeria - reminding everyone of the tragedies of these times. Hence, the ADIC decision to create "a permanent international forum of interreligious encounters for the three monotheistic religions". Abraham's heirs are thus invited to establish, "a permanent international forum of dialogue and solidarity in all major metropolises of the world".
And this "in the spirit of Assisi". Recalling the meeting of 1986 in the city of Saint Francis, Cardinal Koenig, former Archbishop of Vienna, declared the consensus of the symposium: "Assisi is the synonym of a new way. The challenge of peace goes beyond all religions. The survival of mankind is at stake". Apparently, the "brothers of Abraham" at the Sorbonne were sharing Monday the same objective with he from the Vatican, who wants them to meet again the year 2000 in the Sinai!