To the editor:
It is good for Catholics and Muslims to seek understanding and to foster cooperation. In this way they express respect for each other’s dignity as human beings. It is not helpful, however, to confuse interfaith religious dialogue with Christian ecumenism.
Within Islam and Christianity there are defining differences that disallow the profound spiritual communion and fellowship which already exists in Christian ecumenism. For example, sincere Muslims assert that God has no Son and that Jesus did not die on the cross. Meanwhile, convinced Catholics are testifying to the incarnation of Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God. Basic to the Christian faith is the good news of Christ crucified for our sins and of Christ risen from the dead to put believers in a right relationship with God the Father. In the Son of God and only in him, we have redemption by his blood, the forgiveness of sins.
As the Christian-Muslim Commission continues to foster understanding and cooperation everyone must keep in mind the dividing differences which distinguish the two religions. Any attempt to collapse the two religions into one denies both. Rather than mutual trust and honest cooperation, an unholy disrespect and disregard would result.
Dominick A. Zarcone