Dear Muslim Brothers and Sisters,
You are now coming to the end of your annual fast which once again seems particularly arduous to those of us who are not Muslim as it takes place over midsummer with its long hours of daylight. Your commitment to the fast is a great witness of the centrality of God in your lives and a source of inspiration to other faiths. Your faithfulness will no doubt allow you to doubly enjoy the festival of Eid when it comes at the end of the month and I wish you and your families a happy and joyful celebration.
As usual I am forwarding the greetings from Pope Francis and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. This year the letter focuses on mercy which is so central to both our faiths. It talks of the Holy Year of Mercy which Pope Francis instituted last December. In announcing this Holy Year the Pope spoke of the need to foster an encounter with world faiths and prayed that the year might “open us to even more fervent dialogue so that we might know and understand one another better.” This too is my prayer as I pray with you and the Pontifical Council; “May the Merciful and Almighty God help us to walk always along the path of goodness and compassion!”
Once more I send you my greetings on behalf of my colleagues the Bishops of Scotland and indeed the whole Catholic community in Scotland.
With all good wishes,
+ Mario Conti
Chair of the Committee for Inter Religious Dialogue of the Catholic Church in Scotland