Benedict XVI and his support for interfaith dialogue elicit respect among Indonesian Muslims
Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Indonesian Christians and Muslims are "struck" by Benedict XVI's resignation, showing "appreciation and deep respect" for the pope's courageous choice. As they wait for the conclave to get underway, they also express hope that Muslim-Christian rapprochement will continue. Over the years, the outgoing pope had "promoted and strengthened it". However, most people were probably affected by the pope's "deeply meditated decision" to give up power, by which he recognised that he could no longer be "of service to the Church" without the appropriate physical and mental vigour.
Din Syamsuddin, expert on Islam and president of Muhammadiyah.
The pope's decision is wholly sincere. It deserves deep respect and appreciation. I remember meeting Benedict XVI in four different occasions at events promoting interfaith dialogue. I still have a beautiful recollection of that, the image of a great pontiff who, with courage and good will, wanted to create harmony and good relations with the Muslim world. This is something we must continue and strengthen in the future.
As for his successor, I hope that whichever cardinal becomes the new pontiff, he will continue along the path of rapprochement between Christians and Muslims, especially on issues that touch upon human beings and the relationship with God. Among the cardinals, I remember Card Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, who has done a lot to create good relations with Muslims in the world.
Siti Musdah Mulia, president of Indonesian Conference on Religion and Peace (ICRP).
The news shocked and moved me because Pope Benedict XVI had the courage of going against Catholic tradition. Unlike his predecessors, he resigned rather than wait for death to end his pontificate. This is a sign of great humility and a warning against modern societies that power is never eternal. In considering the greater good of his faithful (and the Church), he showed a great sense of responsibility.