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Vatican calls for calm in cartoon protests

The head of the Vatican body responsible for inter-faith relations on Tuesday called for calm and restraint among Christians and Muslims.

india Updated: Feb 07, 2006 03:07 IST

The head of the Vatican body responsible for inter-faith relations on Tuesday called for calm and restraint among Christians and Muslims as protests continued across the Islamic world against cartoons satirising the Prophet Mohammed.

"We all have the responsibility not to increase the tension and to calm spirits on both sides," said British Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, adding that Vatican officials would seek a dialogue with Muslim leaders on the issue.

"We will speak to our Muslim partners to see, together with them, what we can do," Fitzgerald told the Vatican press agency I-media.

"It's not only on our side that something can be done, we must act together," he added.

The archbishop, head of the Pontificial Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, said he hoped the crisis sparked by the publication of cartoons depicting Mohammed in a Danish newspaper would provide an opportunity for serious reflection on the respect due to the religious values in society."

"Freedom of expression must be used with responsibility," he said, adding that it "has been missing" in the case of the cartoons.

First Published: Feb 07, 2006 03:07 IST