Vatican Encourages Catholics to Welcome Muslim Immigrants

May 16, 2004

Source: STLtoday

On May 16, 2004 STLtoday posted an Associated Press article that reported, "Catholics should welcome Muslim immigrants without prejudice, and Muslims must also respect the values of a democracy - including equality between men and women, the Vatican said Friday. The issue of Christian-Muslim relations was raised in a document on worldwide migration, which the Vatican called the vastest movement of people of all time. The document urged Catholics to be cautious about marrying a Muslim - repeating a long-standing Roman Catholic policy toward mixed marriages. Muslims represent a new wave of immigrants to predominantly Christian countries. It expressed hope for a 'growing awareness' among Muslims that 'fundamental liberties, the inviolable rights of the person, the equal dignity of man and woman, the democratic principle of government and the healthy lay character of the state are principles that cannot be surrendered.' It also denounced racism and xenophobia, saying that immigration should produce solidarity and not fear."