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Papal Visit to Iraq: Parallels between Shi’a Islam and Catholicism

In October 2005, Benedictine Father Mark Serna, a veteran of Catholic/Shi’ite exchange, wrote: “In distinction to Muslims in the Sunni tradition, Shi’ite Muslims are very natural dialogue partners with Roman Catholics and monastics. There are many areas of mutuality: a profound contemplative and mystical tradition; veneration of saints, especially of Mary, the Mother of Jesus; notions of infallibility and authority; high emphasis on rational inquiry into matters of faith; belief and praxis; and philosophical and theological study.”

All this creates fertile ground for Catholic-Shi’a exchange. Catholicism also has a presence in Shi’a societies that predates the rise of either Islam or the West; Maronite Catholics in Lebanon, for example, Chaldean Catholics in Iraq, as well as Armenian and Chaldean Catholics in Iran. These Catholics speak the languages and know the cultures.

Source: Crux Now

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