Chairman of the UAE Fatwa Council meets Pope Francis

Photo: WAM

Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah, Chairman of the UAE Fatwa Council, has met with Pope Francis, Head of the Catholic Church, and conveyed the greetings of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

The meeting took place at the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City, where representatives of the Abrahamic monotheistic religions met Monday to condemn euthanasia and assisted suicide, and encourage palliative care everywhere and for everyone "We oppose any form of euthanasia – that is the direct, deliberate and intentional act of taking life – as well as physician-assisted suicide – that is the direct, deliberate and intentional support of committing suicide – because they fundamentally contradict the inalienable value of human life, and therefore are inherently and consequentially morally and religiously wrong, and should be forbidden without exceptions." Representatives of the Abrahamic religions made the statement in a position paper that they signed and released in the Vatican on Monday regarding end-of-life issues, such as euthanasia, assisted suicide and palliative care.

Addressing the gathering, Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah stressed that the meeting falls with the efforts to ensure cooperation in goodness and piety, adding that preservation of the body is a key purpose of the Islamic law and interfaith values that underline the importance of ensuring holistic and respectful care of the person.

"Our meeting today represents a new step in the course of joint religious action. It is the first time heavenly religions have come together to assert their agreement on core values and assets," he added.

He noted that the UAE always strives to uphold the common values of the Abrahamic family and all other noble human principles that encourage co-existence.

Bin Bayyah said that these efforts are in line with the Year of Tolerance in the UAE, which witnessed the visit of His Holiness Pope Francis and the signing of the Humanitarian Fraternity Document with the Grand Sheikh of Al Azhar, Dr. Ahmed Al Tayeb, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed.

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