“…Muslims and Catholics share a common goal to build up families anchored in love…”

Dear Muslim brothers and sisters,

It is with immense joy that I celebrate with you the end of your holy month of Ramadan; of fasting, prayer and almsgiving.

May this message express my great esteem and respect for all Muslims; in particular, your active involvement in promoting peace, and harmony through interreligious dialogue, and projects that reach out to victims of environmental calamities and the poor and needy of different religions and races.

As Pope Francis has called for particular attention to families this year, coinciding with the United Nations’ “International Year of the Family”, I ardently wish God’s abundant blessings of love and unity on all your families.

I believe Muslims and Catholics share a common goal to build up families anchored in love and respect for each family member. It is when there is real unity within families that we can also speak of real unity in the country and humanity.

Our families today face immense challenges in the living out of our respective faiths due to the prevailing tide of secularistic, individualistic and materialistic currents. We face an ever growing need to inculcate strong moral and religious values in our families.

As Catholics, we are greatly edified by your ‘Id al-Fitr celebration due to our shared emphasis on ongoing family renewal and the importance of the community.

In recent months, we have witnessed an escalation of appalling violence and painful disregard for religious liberty in different parts of the world.

It is indeed very distressing to note that as a family of humanity, who are meant to live harmoniously as sisters and brothers on our beautifully created earth, many are engaged in harming and destroying one another. This will surely sadden God.

God wishes that our families learn not simply to tolerate each other’s religious beliefs, but actively dialogue, seek understanding and rejoice in our diversities.

When such diversities are built on deep mutual respect, and a genuine desire to love and forgive one another at all times, then over time, this will forge strong interreligious relationships that will be invaluable for the building of lasting peace in our nation and the world.

Let us renew our commitment to collaborate with goodwill so that our nation may continue to grow from strength to strength through our interreligious bond.

On behalf of the Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore, I would like to sincerely thank you for the many years of genuine friendship and wish all our Muslim sisters and brothers a very blessed Hari Raya Aidilfitri. –

11 July 2014

Most Rev William Goh, D. D., STL
Archbishop of Singapore

Msgr Philip Heng, S. J.
Vicar General (Interreligious Relations)

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