The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue
The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue is the Vatican organization for understanding and exploring new avenues of Catholic interfaith dialogue globally, building on the tradition of the church since Vatican II. In this space we offer some of the important events and catechesis in interreligious dialogue.
Scriptural Reasoning (SR) is a tool for inter-faith dialogue whereby people of different faiths come together to read and reflect on their scriptures. Unlike some forms of inter-faith engagement, it is not about seeking agreement but rather exploring the texts and their possible interpretations across faith boundaries, and learning to ‘disagree better’. The result is often a deeper understanding of others’ and one’s own scriptures, as well as the development of strong bonds across faith communities. SR is now practiced globally, including in places affected by religion-related tensions and conflict.
Every religion deals with appropriate body involved methods to facilitate and stimulate spiritual experience. The present paper compares the role and advantages Taoism and Christianity assigned to the body during meditation. Whereas Taoist methods of cultivation aim at good health and longevity, union with the Dao and immortality, Western Christianity, due to differences in the understanding of the meditating body, is reluctant to affirming the efficiency of any method. It insists that spiritual experience is a grace. Download the article to learn more.
Reconsidering the Prophet Muhammad: Christian Possibilities
The Virgin Mary: Bridging Catholics and Muslims
Carl Chudy, SX Xaverian Missionaries USA
The Journal of Social Encounters has published Fr. Carl’s comparative study on the description of Mary in the Gospels and the Qur’an that “opens us up to the profound mystery of God that transcends the boundaries of both of our faiths…” Access the Journal here.
The Xaverian Interfaith Conference took place at the Conforti Centre in Scotland from the 4th – 8th of March of 2019. The confreres of the UK welcomed Xaverian Missionaries from Spain and USA, as well as lay and religious people working within our Regions, members of the Scottish Bishops’ Interfaith Commission, Interfaith Scotland, Pax Christi, other Missionary Orders, visitors and speakers of other faiths and beliefs. Access the summary here.
Being Catholic with Other Faiths
Although Vatican II opened a new door for the Catholic Church to our relationship with other faiths, it did not yet go as far as to say that interreligious dialogue is part of the evangelizing mission of the church. This came through the Pontificate of John Paul II through three subsequent documents: Dialogue and Mission (1984), the mission encyclical Mission of the Redeemer (1990), and Dialogue and Proclamation (1991). These teachings reflect the growing awareness of the centrality of interfaith dialogue in the very mission of the church. For Pope John Paul II, dialogue is fundamental for the Church, based on the very life of the Triune God, as well as on respect and love for every human person: “As far as the local churches are concerned, they must commit themselves in this direction, helping all the faithful to respect and to esteem the values, traditions, and convictions of other believers.”
This dialogue is not a mere discussion about each other’s beliefs. For the church there are several ways this dialogue can play out.
The first is the dialogue of life where believers of different religions bear witness before each other in daily life to their own human and spiritual values, and help each other to live according to those values in order to build a more just and fraternal society.
The second is the dialogue of works and action where collaboration with other faiths is opportune in the social, economic and political to build a more humane society.
The third is the dialogue of theological exchange and often involves specialists and leaders in different faith traditions in search for ultimate truth.
Finally the dialogue of religious experience is an opportunity to share prayer and religious experiences in our common search for the Absolute.