September 17, 2012

Living in a war zone taught Comboni Father Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot the importance of interreligious dialogue “as an instrument for overcoming conflict and drawing together from the source of peace.”

The 60-year-old Spanish priest, who did missionary work in Egypt and in Sudan before becoming head of Rome’s Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies, was named secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue in late June.

Doing pastoral work in the Sudanese Diocese of El-Obeid during the civil war “was an experience I survived, tested, but very much enriched both on a human and a priestly level,” he said in an interview Sept. 1 with L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper.

“In that extreme situation, I understood how important dialogue is,” he said.