Friday, 12 November 2010
Vatican delgates visit Shiite leaders in Qom
Payvand Iran News
Vatican delegates visited Iranian Shiite leaders in Qom yesterday as part of the three day discussion on religion and society in Iran. Ten Vatican representatives met with Ayatollahs Javadi Amoli, Makarem Shirazi and Yazdi in the holy city of Qom, Mehr News Agency reports.
Ayatollah Javadi Amoli told the gathering that oppression is "Haraam" (unlawful in religious terms) and added: "We expect the scholarly figures of Christianity and especially the Pope to condemn oppressive acts which predominantly originate from the US."
Javadi Amoli went on to stress that "religion is the only force that can direct the society." Regarding "silence in face of oppression", the senior cleric added: "These people become silent because they do not have a source. Human rights are not scientific rights, that is, if you present it to a philosopher or scholar, they will not accept it because no one can take ownership of it."
Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi lauded the efforts in creating dialogue amongst religions and said "world peace, peaceful co-existence and avoiding violence" is the common denominator amongst all religions.
Ayatollah Yazdi, deputy chief of Iran's Assembly of Experts, discussed the topic of separation of religion and politics with the delegation and stressed that Islam differs with other religions in that it does not distinguish between religion and politics.
He said: "If religion has no politics, it will be confined to the mosque or the church. But in addition to worship, religion must also attend to the social concerns of people."
Ayatollah Yazdi went on to say: "Commitment to Islam is one of the main criteria for choosing managers and directors in Iran for otherwise they cannot fulfil their responsibilities successfully."
Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran responded to Ayatollah Yazdi saying: "We differ on this respect. You see no separation between religion and politics but we consider them to be completely separate."
Cardinal Tauran added: "While religion and politics are completely independent for us, they do cooperate with each other. As religious leaders, our responsibility is to teach people to act religiously when they take on political responsibility."
This is the seventh meeting between the representatives of both sides. This year's meeting was organized by the Islamic Culture and Relation Organization around the topic of "Religion and Society: Christian and Muslim perspectives."