Pope Meets With Head of International Islamic Organization

Pope_FrancisROME — The pope met with the head of an international Islamic organization on Friday, a meeting that was characterized as the first-ever for the group.

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the secretary general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), sat down with Pope Francis at the Vatican in an effort to create dialogue between the Muslim and Roman Catholic worlds. A news release from OIC outlined that the presence of Muslims has increased in “historically Christian countries.”

“In this context, the discussions expressed the need for greater efforts to foster respect for religious pluralism and cultural diversity, and to counter the spread of bigotry and prejudices,” the group explained. “It was stressed that interreligious dialogue is a necessary condition for peace in the world, and as such it is a duty for adherents of all faith traditions.”

OIC also advised that Ihsanoglu discussed with the Pope “his vision regarding the need for a ‘historic reconciliation’ between Islam and Christianity based on the common Abrahamic roots and in order to support multiculturalism and harmonious societies.”

According to Rome Reports, the two exchanged gifts following the talks, with Ihsanoglu donating a 14th century publication–presumably Islamic–to the Vatican library, and Pope Francis giving Ihsanoglu and his entourage his papal medallion. The pope then asked the men for their prayers and posed for photographs.

This is not the first time, however, that the pope has engaged in dialogue with members of the Islamic religion. As previously reported, in August of this year, Pope Francis had issued a written greeting to Muslims in recognition of the close of the Islamic holiday Ramadan.

“Turning to mutual respect in inter-religious relations, especially between Christians and Muslims, we are called to respect the religion of the other, its teachings, its symbols, its values,” he wrote. “Particular respect is due to religious leaders and to places of worship. How painful are attacks on one or other of these!”

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Francis also held an ecumenical meeting in March, greeting Christian, Muslim and Jewish leaders, as well as those who ascribe to no faith at all. During the occasion, he praised the Muslim leaders that had come for the meeting, remarking that they were men who “adore the one, living, and merciful God and who call upon Him in prayer.”

“For my part, I wish to assure you, following in the path of my predecessors, of my firm will to continue on the path of ecumenical dialogue,” he said, referencing the Second Vatican Council. “I also ask of you the kindness of a special prayer for myself, so that I might be a pastor in harmony with Christ’s heart.”

However, Mike Gendron of Proclaiming the Gospel Ministries of Plano, Texas, told Christian News Network that it is concerning to observe the Vatican’s ecumenical talks with the followers of Islam.

“The pope’s meeting with Muslim leaders is an indication of his continuing efforts to rebuild the religious tower of Babel,” he said. “It is outrageous that he welcomed an organization that promotes Muslim solidarity and which releases an annual report showing the discrimination some societies have against Muslims.”

“He must not be aware that the Quran contains over 100 verses that call Muslims to war against nonbelievers for the sake of Islamic rule,” he continued. “Muslims who do not join the fight are called ‘hypocrites’ and warned that Allah will send them to Hell if they do not join the slaughter.”

Gendron, a former Roman Catholic, stated that he also found it disturbing that Pope Francis asked OIC for their prayers.

“The pope’s request for prayers from the Muslims is consistent his belief that they worship the same God,” he stated. “The Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 841, reads, ‘The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims … together with us they adore the one, merciful God.’ This is a blatant rejection of the teachings of Christ, who declared He is the only way to the Father. Those who do not believe Jesus is God will die in their sins.”

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  • Sir Tainly

    Hey…I have an idea…let’s NOT support dialogue with the Muslims that seek peaceful co-existence with Christians! 😛 That way we will be doing our utmost to make certain that the violent and bigoted within both religions get their way and that we will see more hate…more murder…and more terrorism.


    We can appreciate and support attempts to establish peaceful coexistence.

    It’s not REALLY a hard choice, is it?

    • Cyrus

      Sir Tainly , I could have not said it better

    • Dpselfe

      You really still believe Muslims are interested in “dialog”?

      • Sir Tainly

        Thanks Cyrus.

        And I know Muslims and have met others that would have peaceful coexistence.

        And if it wasn’t painfully obvious…well, I’ll say it anyway….that I have not one shred of doubt that most American Muslims would prefer peaceful coexistence based on dialogue.

        How can you possibly think that a Muslim group that has said,…..
        ““In this context, the discussions expressed the need for greater efforts to foster respect for religious pluralism and cultural diversity, and to counter the spread of bigotry and prejudices,” the group explained. “It was stressed that interreligious dialogue is a necessary condition for peace in the world, and as such it is a duty for adherents of all faith traditions.””
        …..is somehow lying Dpselfe!?

        Don’t you think that they already know that by making such public statements that they are already considered apostate by the hateful and bigoted within their own religion?

        Don’t you know that their already are Muslims that would probably kill them just for meeting with the pope?

        Is it not obvious that “peaceful coexistence” is not the same as “one world religion?” I don’t even know where that is coming from……but I suspect that hatred, ignorance, and bigotry is not just a Muslim problem, but instead a human problem.

        For whatever it’s worth to you, I’m not certain how the Muslims who seek peaceful coexistence handle the more violent parts of the Koran but I do appreciate them.

        Heck, I have my own hands full looking to the Bible…..and dealing with the more violent records and violent verses. I suspect that they (being reasonable instead of histrionic) deal with the Koran in a similar fashion as I deal with the Bible…..but that is just my opinion because I have never really talked with them about it.

        Now I actually have added a conversation that I would like to have with a peaceful Muslim Sheikh or Mullah onto my bucket list, just like the one that I would like to have with the Pope concerning the history of violence within Christianity. Wooohoo! 😀

        • Cyrus

          SirTainley, with the Internet, now that is the path fate is going, the problem is being segregated to only one community in the world regardless of faith, race, gender. People all over the world are interacting ever more than ever and we are talking about exponential interaction, more people are learning about each others culture and becoming internet friends.. soon in maybe another 50 years people are able to basically teleport to another part of the world within maybe minutes as airliners will become faster and travel becomes cheaper. so having a friend in Turkey and one lives in America, and they are internet friends and they want to hang out, taking a airliner to travel back and forth will become teleport speed and be as fast as a hour bike ride where ever one lives.

          • Cyrus

            now that the path of fate is going*

          • Cyrus

            Also you are a great man, Sir Tainley, your logic and peace of heart is one all Holy Books speak of, it is the kind of you that will be blessed in this world, during judgement and the after life! =)

          • Sir Tainly

            Quite a compliment Cyrus, thank you.

            It’s a lot to live up to as well.

    • Mex Seiko

      Well said.

      There are millions of Moslems living peacefully in the USA. There are only a few challenges like are an occasional child or wife honor killing, and then the perp (father) leaves for their country of origin and the government will not release him. Christians do not like, too much. Also, there may be an issue with wife beatings, which may be hidden under the barqas. Christians don’t like that either. There have been some instances where Christian women marry Moslem men and suddenly they relocate to a Moslem country and they get beaten and sometimes deprived of their children and stuff like that. So, Christians may be concerned about the possibility of implementing Sharia law where there’s a majority of Moslems.

      Other than that, it’s all hunky-dory!

  • Charles

    People fail to realize in the old testament God says kill the heathens lest they build cities and reign over you and kill you in the new testement it says sell your coat and by a sword and fight so christianity isn’t peaceful either so life sucks without peace and tolerance otherwis Satan will have us killing each other so let us not commit murder and have tolerence if we can otherewise its just more madness when will it ever stop

  • Sir Tainly

    Mt 5: (NKJV)
    9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
    For they shall be called sons of God.

  • David Ingram

    I have always wondered how people with such hate in their hearts as Mr Gendron can still call themselves Christians. The bible clearly states that we are to Love our fellow man and that those who are peace makers are blessed. With attitudes such as his it is no wonder people are leaving the church in the high numbers they are.