A joint declaration issued at the end of the Vatican's three-day Muslim-Catholic forum has called for recognition by both Muslims and Christians of the rights of women and freedom of conscience, and condemned terrorism in the name of religion.

The statement, which Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, told The Times "goes further than previous declarations", said "We affirm that God's creation of humanity has two great aspects, the male and female human person, and we commit ourselves jointly to ensuring that human dignity and respect are extended on an equal basis to both men and women".

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