Prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, together with the Most Rev. Mons. Guy Real Thivierge, Secretary General of the Pontifical Foundation "Gravissimum educationis", this month have been in Abu Dhabi for an official visit.
They visited the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. After the visit, the delegation, led by the Cardinal Prefect, met with the Minister of Education Hussain Ibrahim Al-Hammadi. They talked about the cooperation between the two institutions and the preparation of a seminar which will reflect on the challenges of education starting from the Document on the Human Fraternity signed last year by His Holiness Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmad Al- Tayeb in the view of the Global Compact for Education meeting which will take place in Rome on May 14th. After this meeting, the delegation visited the Minister of Tolerance, Nahnyan Ben Mubarak Al-Nahyan, and the Foreign Minister, Abdullah Ben Zayed Al-Nahyan.
While on the 4th of February they participated in the celebration of the first anniversary of the signing of the Document on the Human Fraternity. During this event, the High Committee presented what they did for the implementation of the principles of the document and the other ongoing projects. Indeed, one of the commitments made in the document is that the Catholic Church and al-Azhar, through common cooperation, announce and engage in bringing this Document to the Authorities, to the influential Leaders and commit to spread the principles of this Declaration, at regional and international levels, urging to transform them into policies, decisions, legislative texts, study programs and communication materials.
In the aforementioned Document, it was stated that the signing parties adopt the culture of dialogue as a way; joint collaboration as a conduct; mutual knowledge as a method and criterion. An appeal was also made to world leaders, to the architects of international politics and the world economy, asking for serious efforts to spread the culture of tolerance, coexistence and peace; to intervene as soon as possible to stop the shedding of innocent blood. This Document, in accordance with previous International Documents which underlined the importance of the role of religions in building world peace, reiterated that religions must invite us to remain anchored to the values of peace; that everyone enjoys the freedom of belief, thought, expression and action; that justice is based on mercy; that dialogue, understanding, the diffusion of the culture of tolerance are essential for peace; that women, children, the elderly must be protected.