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October 25, 2011

Cardinal McCarrick to Present “The ‘Amman Message’: A Magisterium for Islam?”

Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, archbishop emeritus of Washington and a distinguished visiting scholar at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress, will discuss the similarities between Muslim and Christian quests for common understanding among adherents of each religion.

The lecture "The ‘Amman Message’: A Magisterium for Islam?" will take place at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 16, in Room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. The event is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are needed.

In the post-9/11 Middle East, the government of Jordan launched a wide-ranging effort to answer some fundamental questions about the nature of Islam. The resulting "Amman Message" is not unlike the "Magisterium" that exists in Catholicism and to some extent in several other Christian denominations, according to McCarrick.

"Highly acclaimed and approved by major sources of Muslim scholarship, this rather simple message marked the first time in more than 1,000 years that the Muslim world community had come to such a wide mutual understanding," the cardinal said.

The lecture is the culmination of McCarrick’s one-year residency at the Kluge Center, during which he researched the religious and political influence of the "Amman Message" and the role it plays in today’s inter-religious dialogue. The Librarian of Congress announced on Jan. 12, 2011, that he had appointed McCarrick as distinguished visiting scholar.

McCarrick has served on several international bodies and has been a member of the board of Catholic Relief Services for many years. In his retirement, he has been dedicated to inter-religious dialogue, especially in the Holy Land and the Middle East. He recently returned from Iran, where he served as part of a delegation of American religious leaders that was instrumental in the release from prison of two young American hikers.

Through a generous endowment from John W. Kluge, the Library of Congress established the Kluge Center in 2000 to bring together the world’s best thinkers to stimulate and energize one another, to distill wisdom from the Library’s rich resources and to interact with policymakers in Washington. For further information on the Kluge Center, visit

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds nearly 147 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may also be accessed via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at

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PR 11-205
ISSN 0731-3527

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