03/05/2021, 11.24
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Moscow, Islamic publisher releases encyclical 'Fratelli tutti'

by Vladimir Rozanskij

 "Vse Bratja" is the Russian version of the papal encyclical. At the presentation, the message of Francis and the Grand Mufti of Russia, Ravil Gajnutdin. Presentations by the nuncio in Moscow, the vice-president of the Muslim religious administration, political personalities, Catholic and Jewish representatives.

Moscow (AsiaNews) - On March 3, in the Catholic cultural center Pokrovskye Vorota, the papal encyclical 'Fratelli tutti' which Francis dedicated to fraternity and universal social harmony ("Vse Bratja") was presented in Russian.

The encyclical was published by the Islamic Publisher Medina, with the collaboration of the Muslim International Forum, under the aegis of the Religious Administration of Muslims of Russia.

On the occasion of the presentation, Pope Francis sent a message in which he congratulated the initiative of the Russian Muslims, terming it "an unexpected joy". The pontiff noted that "reflection and dialogue on this encyclical can help not only in the Russian Federation, where dialogue between Christians and Muslims is destined to grow, but also for the whole human family. In truth, in the globalized and variously connected world in which we live, what is done in one corner has consequences everywhere”.

Francis added that interreligious dialogue starts from the recognition of the one heavenly 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".

The apostolic nuncio to Moscow, Monsignor Giovanni D'Aniello, spoke at the presentation, reading the papal message and greeting the head of Russian Muslims, Grand Mufti Ravil Gajnutdin, thanking him for an event of such great significance.

D'Aniello added "being mutally open to one another allows us to understand and appreciate one another, because authentic love, inspired by God, cannot fail to generate in the hearts of all of us the desire for mutual help, despite the differences that can characterize us, which instead of being obstacles, actually become elements that enrich us”.

On the Muslim side, the vice-president of the Administration, Mufti Ildar Aljautdinov, in turn read the message sent by Gajnutdin, thanking Pope Francis, whom he called "our most honourable brother, spiritual leader of Catholics around the world and head of Catholic church".

The Grand Mufti observed that "the hand of friendship and peace, which the Pope of Rome extended to the Islamic world already in 2019 in the Arabian peninsula, was welcomed by us, Muslims of the Eurasian area, with respect and gratitude" ( …) "We welcome this gesture of good will, unique in history, and we proclaim our will to walk hand in hand with our Christian brothers, to achieve peace and justice".

The chairman of the State Duma Committee for nationality issues, Valerij Gazzaev, also spoke at the meeting, saying: "never as today are we called to safeguard and strengthen peace and universal harmony, helping to harmonize relations inter-ethnic and inter-confessional, supporting a constructive dialogue between representatives of different cultures and ethnic societies”.

The Grand Rabbi of Russia, Adolf Shayevič, in turn thanked the Mufti for the initiative of the Russian edition of the encyclical, expressing his appreciation for its contents, which enhance the feelings of brotherhood and love among the followers of all the Abrahamic religions.


Another exponent of Judaism, the Military Rabbi Aaron Gurevič, observed in turn that the encyclical "is a programmatic document, which stimulates social union, but also theological discussion. Monotheism condemns the idols of the market and politics. This concerns all religious confessions, starting with the Abrahamic one, and prompts us to ask ourselves what is our place in the world that changes so rapidly ... Brothers all is a call to be honest with oneself, in one's prayers and towards the societies and peoples with which we must collaborate”.

Gurevich read the greeting of the president of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, Aleksandr Boroda, who noted that "interreligious relations in Russia today are at a very high level, and can be a source of pride in our society".

The presentation was moderated by the director of the cultural center Jean-Francois Thiry and by Damir Mukhetdinov, chief editor of Medina. The president of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Russia, Archbishop Paolo Pezzi, also spoke; the president of the Orthodox Patriarchal Council for relations with Islam, the hieromonk Grigorij Matrusov; the president of the Association Russian ion for the defense of religious freedom, Sergei Mel'nikov; the president of the European Muslim Forum, Abdul-Vakhed Nyyazov. Several ambassadors, scholars and journalists were present, including the ambassador of Belgium Mark Michilsen, the ambassador of the Order of Malta Aimone di Savoia-Aosta and several diplomats from Arab countries.

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