Joint Vatican-Muslim Statement Condemns Attacks on Civilians in Places of Worship in Iraq

August 3, 2004

Source: Catholic News Service

On August 3, 2004 the Catholic News Service reported, "Terrorist acts of violence waged against places of worship offend the name of God and religion, said an interfaith Vatican committee. In a joint statement released Aug. 3 by the Vatican, the two co-presidents of the Islamic-Catholic Liaison Committee condemned all 'terrorist acts that continue to be perpetrated in Iraq and that involve the civilian population.' The statement condemned 'in particular the suicide attacks in areas in which are located places of worship, both against Muslims and against Christians gathered for worship.' Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, head of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and Hamid al-Rifaie, head of the Saudi-based International Islamic Forum for Dialogue, issued the joint statement in English and Arabic, two days after a wave of car-bomb explosions targeted five Catholic churches in Iraq...'Such blind acts of violence offend the sacred name of God and true religion. They evidence a gross misunderstanding of the history and culture of this sorely tried country,' the statement said."