Morocco – Salesian Cardinal López Romero invites Christians to be "sacrament of encounter" with their Muslim neighbors

09 June 2021

(ANS - Rabat) - The archbishop of Rabat, Morocco, Salesian cardinal Cristóbal López Romero, has convened, 25 years after the previous one, a new diocesan synod, on the theme “Because of Jesus and the Gospel, which Church in Morocco”, designed to encourage the small Catholic community in Morocco to live more fully its mission of being “a Church of encounter and dialogue” in the 99% Sunni Muslim country.

The archbishop of Rabat has launched a diocesan synod to encourage the small Catholic community in Morocco to more fully live out its mission of “encounter and dialogue.”

"Ours is an unassuming Church (we are less than 0.1% of the population), but it seeks to be significant, a sign and sacrament of the Kingdom of God," said the cardinal in an interview granted to ACI Stampa.

His local Church is a truly Catholic Church ("That is to say universal. Christians are all foreigners from more than 100 countries"); truly ecumenical ("open and in relation with all the other Christian communities (Orthodox, Anglicans, Protestants"); truly Samaritan ("help those in need, those who are vulnerable"). But Cardinal López Romero believes that "although we already have made a part of the journey, we can do more.”

"For example, how to live Islamic-Christian dialogue after the Pope's visit, after Fratelli Tutti, after the Document of the Universal Fraternity signed by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam al Tayyeb?" he asked himself.

Thanks to the Pope's visit, which took place in March 2019, the Church in Morocco has received great visibility. In addition to the national and international consideration and the increased recognition of the Moroccan authorities and people, after that visit "priests from various dioceses, especially African ones, came and installed new religious congregations; we have increased pastoral and formative activities. The work of communication in its digital dimension has been consolidated. And all this during the 15-month pandemic.”

Now, this new synod intends to further relaunch the mission of the Church in Morocco, because "the whole local Church must ask itself how to concretely live its mission, both in the place where it is today and in the future."

"To live dialogue on a daily basis, the Christian must know and feel himself as the 'sacrament of encounter'," explained the cardinal of Spanish origin.

In this sense, he then clarified, there is a dimension of Islamic-Christian dialogue, in which "everyone can and must participate. It is practiced and lived in universities, schools, workplaces, on public transport and transport, in poor neighborhoods, in clubs, in cultural centers, always and in every way. This basic dimension of dialogue does not exclude or take away the importance of the others. For this reason we also value the dialogue of works (joint commitment in favor of the great causes of humanity), and the theological dialogue, which shares the life of faith, and the mystical dialogue of joint prayer."

"The model of dialogue that we propose and offer,” he finally concluded, “can only be God himself: although He is God, He enters into a dialogue of love with humanity. And the Church, in the words of Paul VI, 'becomes dialogue, becomes conversation'.”



ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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