My dear Muslim friends,
As the Muslim community throughout Northeast Ohio begins the Eid al-Fitr celebrations, I wish to offer a greeting of peace and my congratulations on the conclusion of your monthlong vigil of fasting, prayer and works of mercy.
In a spirit of deep respect and friendship, I recall and offer the words of St. John Paul II who addressed Muslim religious leaders in 1999 by saying, “In today's world where God is tragically forgotten, Christians and Muslims are called in one spirit of love to defend and always promote human dignity, moral values and freedom. The common pilgrimage to eternity must be expressed in prayer, fasting and charity, but also in joint efforts for peace and justice, for human advancement and the protection of the environment. By walking together on the path of reconciliation and renouncing in humble submission to the divine will any form of violence as a means of resolving differences, the two religions will be able to offer a sign of hope, radiating in the world the wisdom and mercy of that one God who created and governs the human family.”
Indeed, we have walked together in witness of this most recently as members of the Muslim community joined me and other interfaith representatives at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in a service for the Christian churches bombed in Sri Lanka and a Jewish synagogue attacked in Poway, California.
It is with a sense of solidarity and good will that I offer my personal prayerful best wishes during this time of celebration. May your lives give glory to the Almighty and bring serenity, joy and prosperity to all those around you.