Christians and Muslims Together

by Michael Potemra

Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna is one of the most important figures in the Catholic Church: an impressive theologian, one of the key authors of the new Catechism, and a leading candidate to succeed Pope John Paul II. He gave a speech in Naples, Fla., on Monday, on the need for continuing dialogue between Christians and Muslims. As reported in the local press, the Cardinal’s speech embodied a religious humanism of the kind that John Paul II has crusaded for so eloquently over the past 25 years. While there are crucial doctrinal differences between the two religions, our common human task unites us: “Our faith divides us, but our responsibilities bring us together.” Whether Schonborn himself eventually becomes the leader of the world’s Catholics is not so important; what matters is that John Paul II has elevated people like him to positions of leadership. John Paul II’s legacy for Christianity, and for the world, will be lasting.