Aparecida 238-239: More On Interreligious Dialogue

238. Even if the subjectivism and poorly defined identity of certain proposals make contacts difficult, this does not allow us to abandon the commitment and the grace of dialogue.(Cf. Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and Congregation for the Evangelization of peoples, Dialogue and Proclamation, 1991, n.89.)

This citation is from the conclusion of the referenced document. It seems to recognize that there are some badly formulated thoughts and clumsy efforts in efforts to engage people outside of Christianity. They don’t sink the ship. The Aparecida bishops counsel we must simply get to know other people different from us.

Rather than giving up, investment must be made in knowing the religions, in theological and pastoral discernment, in training competent agents for interreligious dialogue, and paying attention to the different religious visions present in the cultures of our continent. Interreligious dialogue does not mean ceasing to proclaim the good News of Jesus Christ to non-Christian peoples, albeit with meekness and respect for their religious convictions.

We don’t stop our proclamation of the Gospel. Meekness and respect likely just means we don’t say. “We’ve got it–you don’t.”

There’s more at stake:

239. In addition to its theological character, interreligious dialogue has a specific significance in the building of the new humanity: it opens unexplored paths of Christian testimony, promotes the freedom and dignity of peoples, stimulates collaboration for the common good, overcomes violence motivated by fundamentalist religious attitudes, and educates in peace and civic tolerance: it is an area of the beatitudes which are promoted by the Church’s social doctrine.

This is lovely: that a common ground on which we work to serve others is one on which we can work together.

For deeper examination, an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in 2007 Aparecida document, bishops, evangelization and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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