Interfaith Dialogue & Solidarity

The Three Days of Diwali 2022 and Solidarity with our Hindu Neighbors

Happy Diwali to all our Hindu neighbors and particularly to our dialogue partners with Swami Tyagananda and his community. The Diwali festival is celebrated by all Hindus and is known as Deepavali, or “row of oil lamps”. It represents the victory of truth over falsehood, of light over darkness, of life over death, and of good over evil. The actual celebration lasts three days, marking the beginning of a new year, family reconciliation, especially between brothers and sisters, and adoration of God.

The Catholic Church expresses our hope that the observance of Diwali may bring hope to Hindus around the world, “even in the midst of anxiety and uncertainty arising from the present pandemic, and its resultant worldwide crises.”

Convergence of Sacred Days

Pope Francis and Interreligious Dialogue

Fr. Carl Chudy presents Pope Francis’ insistence on creating cultures of encounter and dialogue with all peoples and all faiths

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.

Letters from the Holy See on the occasion of important sacred days of our brothers and sisters of different faiths worldwide.

Scriptural Reasoning: Interfaith Scripture Study

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.

Resources in including guidelines, text packs, and other helps to start your own interfaith scripture study

Resources for Muslim Christian Studies

We are an independent Christian-based study center that brings together Christians and Muslims to learn from and about one another in the context of real relationships. CMCS focuses on research rather than dialogue, though dialogue naturally arises as people study or discuss together. Check out the possibilities.

With Xaverian Missionary Fr. Carl Chudy and a panel of Christian and Muslim scholars

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.

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.

Compilation of Quotes from Pope Francis on Interfaith and Ecumenical Dialogue

Teaching of the Catholic Church on Interfaith Dialogue

US Catholic Bishops on Global Mission and Interfaith Dialogue

Interfaith Organizations to Connect With

Resources on Islam

Interfaith Journals

Essays on Dialogue by Xaverian Missionaries

Special Events

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