By Robin Gomes
Pope Francis hopes that reflection and exchange on his encyclical, Fratelli tutti, can help dialogue grow between Christians and Muslims, not only in the Russian Federation, but everywhere in the world. The Pope expressed this wish in a message to the official presentation of the Russian translation of the encyclical at a ceremony on Wednesday at the “Pokrovskie vorota” cultural center in Moscow, Russia.
Sponsored by the Spiritual Direction of Muslims of the Russian Federation, the translation is the result of the efforts of the Muslim International Forum and Medina Publishing.
Archbishop Paolo Pezzi of the Catholic Archdiocese of Moscow and Apostolic Nuncio to Russia, and Archbishop Giovanni Aniello, officially presented the translation at Wednesday’s event in Moscow.
Pope Francis regarded the news of the Russian translation as “a beautiful and joyful surprise”. “In this way,” he wrote, “it will be made available to a large number of men and women of good will who wish to confront this text.”
The Holy Father said he was also “delighted and impressed by the fact that it was the Muslim International Forum that edited this translation into Russian”. He thinks that “reflection and dialogue on this Encyclical can be of help not only to the Russian Federation, where dialogue between Christians and Muslims is called to grow, but to the human family as a whole.” “Indeed, in the globalized and interconnected world in which we live, a gesture that is made in one corner has repercussions in every other part,” the Pope said in his message for the event.
He expressed his confidence that “open and sincere discussion on the issues of Fratelli tutti can foster dialogue between religions”. “Indeed,” he continued, “fraternity comes from recognizing the one Father.” “And, if we are all children of the one Father, then we can call ourselves brothers and sisters and, above all, live as such,” he said. Concluding with sentiments of gratitude, the Pope said “I wish you all a fruitful study of this text and that you may benefit from it in your personal and social lives.”