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The President of the Croatian Conference of Bishops, Archbishop Želimir Puljić, together with Cardinal Josip Bozanić, received the Secretary General of the Muslim World League

Zagreb (IKA)

On Thursday afternoon, February 4, the President of the Croatian Conference of Bishops, Archbishop Želimir Puljić of Zadar, received the Secretary General of the Muslim World League, Sheik Muhammad bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, who was accompanied by the President of the Meshihat of the Islamic Community in Croatia, Effendi Aziz Hasanović, at the headquarters of the CCB in Zagreb. Archbishop Puljić was joined by the Archbishop of Zagreb, Cardinal Josip Bozanić.

Effendi Hasanović said that this was a historical event because the Secretary General of the Muslim World League had come to the headquarters of the CCB. On this occasion, he expressed his gratitude for being able to participate in the co-organization of a two-day conference of interreligious and multiethnic dialogue, Human Fraternity: The Foundation of Peace and Stability in the World.

This is a new beginning that is based on the Declaration on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together, signed in Abu Dhabi on February 4, 2019, by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed el-Tayeb. This declaration is a civilizational and religious step forward, particularly Catholic-Muslim, which for us at this time is a powerful message and inspiration to be even better and more persistent in promoting the universal values of fraternity, love and fellowship,” said Mufti Hasanović.

This declaration is the fruit of what the Church outlined at the Second Vatican Council,” commented the President of the CCB, Msgr. Želimir Puljić, for Croatian Catholic Radio:

Pope Francis made a good point when he said: ‘We either build the future together or there will not be a future.’ This declaration is an awakening of the awareness that all of us on this earth are God’s creatures, that we are brothers and that we have to work together, regardless of the religion or nation to which we belong.”

Commenting on the fact that the Zagreb conference on human fraternity is being hosted by Muslims in Croatia, Msgr. Puljić noted that Islam has been recognized in our region for over a hundred years. However, by organizing this event, Muslims also have another message, “to show the European states where their issue has not been resolved, that it should be resolved ‘according to the Croatian model.’ And I say, not only in Europe but in the whole world. The same position that our society and government have toward minorities should be implemented in Iran, Iraq and all the countries where there is a Muslim majority. This is a contribution to thinking in this manner.”

“If we, as Catholic believers and Muslim believers, are drawn together by God … he who is close to God is close to man” commented Cardinal Bozanić to Croatian Catholic Radio following the meeting, and said:

In today’s secularized world, believers are needed, those who will show that there are some values we share in common, which give us the strength for life. Life without the perspective that God opens for man is an empty life.”