There’s a heart-warming story coming out of Rome about the head of a papal agency that gives help to Christians in the Middle East.
According to Monsignor John E. Kozar, president of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association and native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, “[t]he broad majority of Muslims are people of good-will.” Kozar claims that the Middle Eastern Muslims in the midst of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association are “[n]ot only tolerant of us Christians, they’re even supportive. They value the schools and clinics that we have.”
I would love to see more top Catholic officials come out in support of our Muslim brethren (and vice versa for that matter). In addition, I would like to see Pope Francis I address the persecution of Catholics in Pakistan, a Muslim majority country. Indeed, I have addressed this issue in a previous post.
Ironically, during the rule of Akbar the Great on the Indian subcontinent, Jesuit missionaries were welcomed into the Mughal court for an interfaith session. Unfortunately, Pakistan has fallen far from those glorious days of Akbar, whose spirit of tolerance is much needed in today’s world. Luckily, we have leaders like Monsignor Kozar who understand the importance of building bridges across the religious divide. Let us pray for his work and continued success.