Pope Francis signs peace declaration on ‘Human Fraternity’ with Grand Imam

One paragraph has caused controversy, but a theologian says it must be read in the proper context

Catholics, Muslims and all who believe in God must work together to build a culture of love, peace and human fraternity, Pope Francis said in a joint statement he signed with Ahmed el-Tayeb, Grand Imam of al-Azhar, during an interreligious meeting in Abu Dhabi.

The document, entitled “A Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together,” invited “all persons who have faith in God and faith in human fraternity to unite and work together so that it may serve as a guide for future generations to advance a culture of mutual respect in the awareness of the great divine grace that makes all human beings brothers and sisters.”

The signing took place February 4 during Pope Francis’ visit to Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, a trip intended to promote interreligious dialogue and give support to the country’s Christian minority. Francis is the first Pope ever to visit the Arabian peninsula.

The document discussed the importance of religion in building a peaceful and free society and the challenges of an increasingly secular world. It condemned all practices and policies detrimental to human life and freedom.

Within a paragraph about human freedom, the document states that religious plurality is willed by God. “The pluralism and the diversity of religions, colour, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings,” the document states.

“This divine wisdom is the source from which the right to freedom of belief and the freedom to be different derives. Therefore, the fact that people are forced to adhere to a certain religion or culture must be rejected, as too the imposition of a cultural way of life that others do not accept.”

This statement must be read in the proper context and perspective, said Dr Chad Pecknold, associate professor of systematic theology at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

“In sensitive inter-religious contexts, it is fitting for the Holy See to acknowledge that despite serious theological disagreements, Catholics and Muslims have much in common, such as a common belief that human beings are ‘willed by God in his wisdom,’” Pecknold told CNA.

“The idea that God wills the diversity of color, sex, race and language is easily understood, but some may find it puzzling to hear the Vicar of Christ talk about God willing the diversity of religions,” he noted.

“It is puzzling, and potentially problematic, but in the context of the document, the Holy Father is clearly referring not to the evil of many false religions, but positively refers to the diversity of religions only in the sense that they are evidence of our natural desire to know God.”

“God wills that all men come to know Him through the free choice of their will, and so it follows that a diversity of religions can be spoken about as permissively willed by God without denying the supernatural good of one true religion,” he added.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks about the Church’s relationship with the Muslims: “The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.”

The Second Vatican Council taught further that “the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained” through the “Catholic Church alone.”

Among other things, the document also condemned terrorism. It called for equal rights and access to education for women, called on believers to care for the poor and vulnerable, and called on world leaders “to work strenuously to spread the culture of tolerance and of living together in peace; to intervene at the earliest opportunity to stop the shedding of innocent blood and bring an end to wars, conflicts, environmental decay and the moral and cultural decline that the world is presently experiencing.”

As Grand Imam of al-Azhar, Tayeb holds one of the most prominent titles in Sunni Islam, and is head of the the al-Azhar Mosque and al-Azhar University in Egypt.

Tayeb is considered a tolerant and moderate Muslim leader, and has rejected connections to the Muslim Brotherhood and condemned ISIS. He also allowed a woman to remain at al-Azhar University after she was facing expulsion for allegedly hugging a male student. However, he has also said he believes that apostasy from Islam is punishable by death.

In the interreligious meeting, Pope Francis said that people of different religions must work to build the future together “or there will not be a future.”

“The time has come when religions should more actively exert themselves, with courage and audacity, and without pretense, to help the human family deepen the capacity for reconciliation, the vision of hope and the concrete paths of peace,” he said.


I agree with Francis that God wills diversity.

On my episcopal arms my motto says


I believe that a good Jew, Muslim or Hindu will be as welcome in heaven as a good catholic.

Spirituality and Faith are God’s gifts.

Religions are manmade institutions and can be a mixture of good and evil.

I increasingly dislike Francis.

But on this one he is right.



I now return to Part 11 of my Kerry/Cloyne trip.
My principle reason for going to Kerry was to celebrate a wedding for the Travelling Community.
That wedding took place on Friday, February 1st in the Parish of Tarbert.
One particular feature of this wedding – and indeed of most Traveller’s wedding is the exotic dress worn by the main participants.




It has been common knowledge among clergy and on this blog that most Irish dioceses now have an increasing number of priests not observing celibacy – some with women and most with men.

It appears that Armagh is particular rampant with gay priests on apps like Grindr and others involved with other priests and laymen.

Armagh has had Rory Coyle, Eugene McCamley etc – and there are others like the youngish priest who came on to the farmer’s son at WYD.

Down and Connor is bad too with gay priests active on the A1 motorway and hanging around toilets in the North West.

Meath has its fair share too – with truck stop priests and others at WYD.

My impression is that Kerry and Cloyne is as bad as any of them – with Cloyne being the very worst.

Cloyne produced the sex on the altar with a seminarian Lomansey.

It also has the older priest living in his presbytery the Eastern European youth.

I’m reliably informed that Cloyne has a whole nasty nest of actively gay priests of all ages and this nest consists of very nasty and aggressive men who are well known to the bishop, Crean, and to the rest of the priests.

The stories of these men will continue to emerge and become public.

Kerry has its King Puck and a number of others – but Kerry does not seem as bad as Cloyne.

And of course Ray Brown is as useless as tits on a bull – and increasingly he is becoming disliked by the priests over his domineering manner.

Of course there is a whole other story in Dublin where Diarmuid Coddle Martin is ignoring things – and in his own way contributing to them.

The Catholic hierarchy and clergy tortured the rest of us about sex for decades and centuries.

There are now falling apart themselves – and at the centre of their collapse is rampant homosexual sex.

Its fitting that the weapon they used on us is now the weapon that is destroying them.

I have made many more friends in Kerry and Cloyne on my recent trip and they promise to keep me abreast of ongoing and upcoming scandals.