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Gulf Times, Qatar / ‘Peace the final aim of dialogue’

Wednesday, 9 May, 2007, 08:24 AM Doha Time

Bishop Ballin ... peace is the aim
Staff Reporter

MUTUAL understanding among people is the key to success in dialogue, said Kuwaiti Catholic bishop Camillo Ballin.
Speaking yesterday on the sidelines of the 5th inter-faith dialogue at the Doha Mariott, Bishop Ballin said the ongoing conference was an excellent opportunity for participants to understand different faiths and their religious practices better.
Advocating the need for openness in dialogues like this, Bishop Ballin said it is important to have mutual faith among participants for the success of each dialogue.
Terming Qatar’s efforts to hold the dialogue for the fifth year running as a bold initiative, Bishop Ballin said even though it was only the first time that he was attending such a conference in the region, he was keenly following its deliberations.
“It is important indeed to send an effective message about the relevance of a conference like this to the rest of the world,” he said.
An optimist, the Italian-born Catholic bishop feels that initiatives like what Qatar has taken for fostering better relations among different religions would go a long way in achieving lasting peace in many places in the long run.  “What matters most in each dialogue is the confidence that its participants should have in each other,” he said.
Lauding the organisers for involving representatives of Judaism and Christianity, the bishop said such a balanced participation of religions would ensure better understanding of each faith. “The ultimate intention of every such inter-faith dialogue is the facilitating of long lasting peace,” he stressed.
Arguing for the continuation of the Doha dialogue at regular intervals, Bishop Ballin said only such talks could help foster better understanding among representatives of different faiths.  As important as dialogue here is the spirit in which they are conducted, said the bishop.


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