2nd meeting of Bishops’ Conference delegates for relations with Muslims in Europe - Turin, Italy, 31 May – 2 June 2011
At the end of their meeting, the delegates from the Bishops’ Conferences noted particularly the process underway in Europe which can encourage the birth of an Islam more purely and typically religious than political; they expressed their sympathy for the desire for democracy and freedom of many peoples from different Arab nations, hoping that this wind of change may also lead to the realisation of true religious freedom in these countries; and, finally, expressing a critical assessment of the term “Islamophobia”, they exhorted Muslims to develop positive and sincere relations in the various contexts in which they find themselves in Europe.
The interest with which the Catholic Church is following the dynamics of the inclusion of residents and citizens of the Muslim religion into the European context, both at individual and community levels, was confirmed during the meeting of delegates for relations with Islam from the European Bishops’ Conferences. It is a complex process not lacking in ambiguities, from which emerges the challenge – which becomes reality – of the gradual inculturation of Islam in Europe, with the subsequent manifestation of its more truly religious and moral dimension, rather than its political one. All the cultural and theological initiatives which are an expression of what is described as “theology of inculturation”, are followed with great interest since they open and strengthen processes of positive participation in European social and cultural life, in a pluralist context, open to inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue.