The Third National Muslim-Catholic Dialogue met at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake from March 6-8, 2018. Cardinal Blase Cupich and Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed chaired the meetings.
The topic of the meeting was One God, One Humanity: Confronting Religious Prejudice. Dr. Rita Geroge Tvrtkovic’ and Dr. Irfan Omar presented papers on this topic in a public program attended by about one hundred people from the university community and from parishes and mosques in the area. A video of the proceedings is available here.
During the meeting, a special award was bestowed upon Dr. Syeed for his many decades of leadership in the field of inter-group relations in the United States of America. Dr. Scott Alexander offered the testimonial, in which he described Dr. Syeed’s devotion to interreligious harmony. He related that Dr. Syeed even named his two sons Moses and Jesus, who are venerated as prophets by Islam. Dr. Syeed saw his life’s mission as one of helping his own religious community broaden its perspective on other religions and cultures. He viewed this as essential in supporting the growth of pluralistic democracy. He has worked with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the national Muslim organizations for more than three decades to build friendship between our two religious communities.
Cardinal Cupich called upon the dialogue to identify the unique contribution it can make to interreligious understanding. The group agreed to explore the misunderstandings we have of each other at the next national plenary.
The Catholic delegation included Cardinal Blase Cupich (Archdiocese of Chicago) Bishop Robert McElroy (Diocese of San Diego), Dr. Scott Alexander (Catholic Theological Union), Fr. Thomas A. Baima (University of Saint Mary of the Lake), Fr. Patrick Baraza (Gonzaga University), Fr. Sidney Griffith (Catholic University of America), Dr. Pim Valkenberg (Catholic University of America), Dr. Sandra Keating (Providence College), Judith Longdin (Archdiocese of Milwaukee), Fr. Thomas Ryan (Paulist Fathers), Fr. Alexi Smith (Archdiocese of Los Angeles), Dr. Rita George Tvrtkovic’ (Benedictine University), Fr. Brian McWeeney (Archdiocese of New York) and Dr. Anthony Cirelli (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops).
The Muslim delegation included Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed (Islamic Society of North America), Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, Imam al-Qazwini, Dr. Khurside Khan, Dr. Zahid Bukhari, Shaykh Khan, Imam Suleiman, Imam Hirami, Dr. Naeem Baig, Ms. Inshirah Farhoud, Dr. Zeki Saritoprak, Dr. Irfan Omar, Imam Hassane, Ms. Maria Khani, Imam Kareem Irfan.
The National Muslim-Catholic Dialogue is sponsored by the Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the United States Conference of Catholic bishops together with the Islamic Society of North America, the Islamic Circle of North America and the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, the Islamic Education Center of Orange County.