Muslim-Catholic Relations


The Archdiocese of Chicago and the EIA office are committed to facilitating meaningful dialogue and programs with the Chicagoland Muslim community to further cultural and religious understanding and harmony. To realize this effort, the Church participates in events year-round, together with our Muslim brothers and sisters. For a full list of Muslim organizations the office works with, click here. A few of our engagements a programs include:

Annual Interfaith Iftar Dinner
This event, sponsored by the Council of Islamic Organizations of Great Chicago (CIOGC), commemorates breaking the Ramadan fast, observing maghrib prayer and sharing a festive dinner and program. For many years Muslim communities have graciously opened their iftar meals to non-Muslims to promote interreligious dialogue and to aid in learning more about Islam.

During the Holy Month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset. The annual Interfaith Iftar Dinner, sponsored by the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC), commemorates breaking the Ramadan fast, observing maghrib prayer and sharing a festive dinner and program.

For many years Muslim communities have opened their Iftar meals to non-Muslims to promote interreligious dialogue. In 2017, the Islamic Foundation North (IFN) in Libertyville, IL hosted the 2017 Muslim/Catholic Interfaith Program and Iftar with the theme, “Obligations to Speak and Reflect the Truth in Society.”

Vaseem Iftekhar, IFN President, Bishop George J. Rassas, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese, and Dr. Bassam Osman, CIOGC’s Board Chairman, opened the evening’s program with welcoming remarks. Catholic and Muslim perspectives on the 2017 theme were offered by two keynote speakers: Dr. Melanie Barrett, chairperson and assistant professor in the department of moral theology at the University of St. Mary of the Lake; and Imam Kareem M. Irfan, chair of the CIOGC Interfaith Committee.

Click here to read more about the 2017 event.

Dialogue Groups
The EIA office is engaged in two ongoing dialogue groups with our Muslim brothers and sisters in Chicago. The Catholic-Muslim Scholars dialogue group is made of Catholic scholars appointed by the Archdiocese of Chicago and Muslim scholars appointed by the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago. Participants meet quarterly to discuss social and theological topics of interest to both traditions. A second group involves followers of the W. Deen Mohammad Movement. This group also meets three to four times per year to promote mutual understanding, with locations varying between a Muslim and Catholic location.

Pope Francis' Message for the Month of Ramadan 2017
Click here to read Pope Francis' Message.