Dilatato Corde 4:1
January - June, 2014
Saint John Paul II was elected Pope on October 16, 1978. Just a few months earlier in that same year that Monastic Interreligious Dialogue was established as two sub-commissions of the Alliance for International Monasticism (A.I.M.), one for North America, the other for Europe. What had been the personal interest of individual monks like Thomas Merton and Henri Le Saux was now given institutional status within the monastic world. Fifteen years later Monastic Interreligious Dialogue would be set up as an independent Secretariat within the Benedictine Confederation.
Who among those monks and nuns who were the founding members of Dialogue Interreligieux MonastiqueMonastic Interreligious Dialogue could have suspected that this cardinal from Poland, a country that that was over 90% Catholic, would become, by his teaching and example, such an inspiring and dedicated advocate of interreligious dialogue?
The brief PowerPoint presentation that can be accessed below presents photos and excerpts drawn principally from the speeches he gave on his apostolic journeys to countries where the majority of the population is not Catholic or Christian. In these countries, as in the others that he visited, he was especially concerned to strengthen the faith of the Catholic community. But again and again, he insisted that Catholics today must “recognize, preserve and promote the good things, spiritual and moral, as well as the socio-cultural values” of other religious traditions. The reason for this, as he never failed to insist, is the Second Vatican Council’s teaching that
The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in [other] religions. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all people (Nostra Aetate, 2).
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