Muslims take part in prayers during the I’tikaf, a spiritual retreat in a mosque that is usually held during the last 10 days of Ramadan, at the Sanusi Dantata Memorial Jummu’at mosque in Abuja, Nigeria, July 31.

CNS PHOTO | AFOLABI SOTUNDE, REUTERS

Muslims take part in prayers during the I’tikaf, a spiritual retreat in a mosque that is usually held during the last 10 days of Ramadan, at the Sanusi Dantata Memorial Jummu’at mosque in Abuja, Nigeria, July 31.

August 26, 2013

As a sign of his “esteem and friendship,” Pope Francis said he personally wanted to write this year’s Vatican message to Muslims about to celebrate the end of their month-long Ramadan fast.

The pope’s message, released by the Vatican Aug. 2, focused on the need for Catholics and Muslims to promote respect for one another, especially through the way they educate their youth.

Catholics and Muslims must respect “the religion of the other, its teachings, its symbols, its values,” he said.

“Particular respect is due to religious leaders and to places of worship.

How painful are attacks on one or other of these!”