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No. 49 • July - December 2009 • Page 339
 •  Initiatives

Rome, Italy -- Caritas in Veritate viewed from different cultural perspectives

On November 9, in Rome, a round table was held at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross entitled “Caritas in Veritate: different cultural perspectives.” It was organized jointly by the university and the Foundation for the Promotion of Culture.

Those participating included Mrs. Pilar Lara, president of the Foundation; Professor Yussef El-Khalil, president of the association Aide au Développement Rural; Professor Stefano Zamagni, from the University of Bologna; and Professor Martin Schlag, from the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross. Also taking part were Ambassador Samuel Hadas and Mrs. Jumana Trad, member of the board of the Foundation for the Promotion of Culture. The participants stressed the importance of the encyclical as a path to finding just solutions to economic, social and political problems, based on ethics, friendship and solidarity.

The interventions briefly outlined the concept of charity in the three monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam). Those speaking about the Jewish and Muslim cultures stressed the points they share in common with one another and with the social doctrine developed in Benedict XVI’s recent encyclical on charity. They likewise insisted on the role religious leaders can play in fostering peace and preventing any lapse into “fundamentalism.” Thus the encyclical was viewed as a guidepost for attaining peace and unity in an ever more fragmented world.

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