On February 4, 2019, at Abu Dhabi, Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Ahmad Al- Tayyeb, signed the document on “Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together”. The declaration opens in the name of a God, who, if he has to be a God common to all, cannot be anything other than the Allah of Muslims. The God of Christians, in fact, is one in nature, but Triune in persons, equal and distinct, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Since the time of Arius and thereafter, the Church has been battling the anti-Trinitarians and the Deists who deny, or set aside this mystery, which is Christianity’s greatest. Islam, on the contrary, rejects it in horror, as the Sura “of authentic worship” proclaims: “He, God, is one! God, the Eternal One! He will not generate, nor was he generated, and none is equal to him!” (Koran, 112, 2,4).
Actually, in the Abu Dhabi declaration, worship is not given either to the God of Christians or to the God of Islam, but to a secular divinity, “human fraternity”, “which embraces all men, unites them and renders them equal.” We are not dealing here with “the spirit of Assisi – which in its syncretism recognizes, nonetheless, the primacy of the religious dimension over that of the secularist – but with an affirmation of indifference. In no point, in fact, is a fundamental metaphysic of the values of peace and fraternity mentioned, but these are continually referred to. The document, when it affirms that “pluralism and the diversity of religions, color, sex, race and language are willed by God in His wisdom, through which He created human beings”, does not profess the ecumenism condemned by Pius XI in Mortalium animos (1928), but the religious indifferentism condemned by Leo XIII in the encyclical Libertas (June 20, 1888), which he defines as “a doctrinal system teaching each is free to profess the religion he likes and even not to profess any at all.”
In the Abu Dhabi declaration, Christians and Muslims submit themselves to the core principal of Freemasonry, whereby the French Revolution values of liberty and equality should find their synthesis and attainment in universal brotherhood. Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, who along with Pope Francis drew up the text, is a hereditary sheik of the Confraternity of Sufis for Upper Egypt, and, in the Islamic world, Al Azhar, the university of which he is rector, is characterized for its proposal of Sufi esotericism, as “an initiatory bridge” between Eastern and Western Freemasonry (cfr. Gabriel Mandel, Federico II, il sufismo e la massoneria, Tipheret, Acireale 2013).
The document in an insistent and repetitive manner, calls upon “the leaders of the world as well as the architects of international policy and world economy, intellectuals, philosophers, religious figures, artists, media professionals and men and women of culture in every part of the world”, to work strenuously to spread “the culture of tolerance and of living together in peace,” expressing “the firm conviction that authentic teachings of religions invite us to remain rooted in the values of peace; to defend the values of mutual understanding, human fraternity and harmonious coexistence”. These values, it stresses, are the “anchor of salvation for all”. Thus, “the Catholic Church and Al Azhar” ask that “this Document become the object of research and reflection in all schools, universities and institutes of formation, thus helping to educate new generations to bring goodness and peace to others, and to be defenders everywhere of the rights of the oppressed and of the least of our brothers and sisters.”
On April 11, at Santa Marta in the Vatican, the Abu Dhabi document was sealed by a symbolic gesture. Francis prostrated himself on the ground before three political leaders from Sudan and kissed their feet, imploring peace. This gesture should be judged not so much for what it affirms: the submission of the Church to political powers, but for what it negates: the rejection of the Kingship of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who represents Christ, in Whose Name every knee shall bend in heaven and on earth (Philippians 2, 10) must receive homage from men and nations and not pay homage to anyone.
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