Pope Questions Interfaith Dialogue

BlaznFattyz

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ROME — In comments on Sunday that could have broad implications in a period of intense religious conflict, Pope Benedict XVI cast doubt on the possibility of interfaith dialogue but called for more discussion of the practical consequences of religious differences.

The pope’s comments came in a letter he wrote to Marcello Pera, an Italian center-right politician and scholar whose forthcoming book, “Why We Must Call Ourselves Christian,” argues that Europe should stay true to its Christian roots. A central theme of Benedict’s papacy has been to focus attention on the Christian roots of an increasingly secular Europe.

In quotations from the letter that appeared on Sunday in Corriere della Sera, Italy’s leading daily newspaper, the pope said the book “explained with great clarity” that “an interreligious dialogue in the strict sense of the word is not possible.” In theological terms, added the pope, “a true dialogue is not possible without putting one’s faith in parentheses.”...
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Anyone care to start an interfaith dialogue regarding interfaith dialogue?
 

seattlegal

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ROME — In comments on Sunday that could have broad implications in a period of intense religious conflict, Pope Benedict XVI cast doubt on the possibility of interfaith dialogue but called for more discussion of the practical consequences of religious differences.

The pope’s comments came in a letter he wrote to Marcello Pera, an Italian center-right politician and scholar whose forthcoming book, “Why We Must Call Ourselves Christian,” argues that Europe should stay true to its Christian roots. A central theme of Benedict’s papacy has been to focus attention on the Christian roots of an increasingly secular Europe.

In quotations from the letter that appeared on Sunday in Corriere della Sera, Italy’s leading daily newspaper, the pope said the book “explained with great clarity” that “an interreligious dialogue in the strict sense of the word is not possible.” In theological terms, added the pope, “a true dialogue is not possible without putting one’s faith in parentheses.”...
Cont'd

Anyone care to start an interfaith dialogue regarding interfaith dialogue?
Can't be having official Catholic doctrine put in the position of scrutiny...
Next line is quite telling:

But Benedict added that “intercultural dialogue which deepens the cultural consequences of basic religious ideas” was important. He called for confronting “in a public forum the cultural consequences of basic religious decisions.”​
I agree that examining the cultural consequences of basic religious decisions is important. What kind of fruit comes to bear? However, how each person is affected by their religious decisions is even more important, imo.
 

Snoopy

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This reminds me from this very forum; links have been provided (can't remember when how or whatever, sg maybe can!) to documents published by the Catholic Church to "explain" other faiths.

So on the face of it, that would seem to go against the Pope's apparent suggestion that interfaith dialogue is not possible I would have thought; or else what is the point in their publication? (unless it's just to provide ammunition to undermine other faiths - evil laugh).

However, I also recall reading some of the stuff on Buddhism in these very docs, and on that basis I would agree with the Pope, interfaith dialogue is not really possible....

s.
 

seattlegal

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This reminds me from this very forum; links have been provided (can't remember when how or whatever, sg maybe can!) to documents published by the Catholic Church to "explain" other faiths.

So on the face of it, that would seem to go against the Pope's apparent suggestion that interfaith dialogue is not possible I would have thought; or else what is the point in their publication? (unless it's just to provide ammunition to undermine other faiths - evil laugh).

However, I also recall reading some of the stuff on Buddhism in these very docs, and on that basis I would agree with the Pope, interfaith dialogue is not really possible....

s.
Is this the one, Snoopy?
http://www.interfaith.org/forum/catholicism-ecumenism-and-salvation-4549.html
 

wil

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I'm looking forward to him not tearing down the bridges built by PJPII
The Vatican spokesman, the Reverend Federico Lombardi, said the pope's comments seemed intended to draw attention to Pera's book, not to cast doubt on the Vatican's many continuing interreligious dialogues.
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http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/11/25/europe/union.php

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"He has a papacy known for religious dialogue; he went to a mosque, he's been to synagogues," Lombardi said. "This means that he thinks we can meet and talk to the others and have a positive relationship."

To some scholars, the pope's remarks seemed aimed at pushing more theoretical interreligious conversations into the practical realm.
George Weigel, a Catholic scholar and biographer of Pope John Paul II, said: "He's trying to get the Catholic-Islamic dialogue out of the clouds of theory and down to brass tacks. How can we know the truth about how we ought to live together justly, despite basic creedal differences?"

This month, the Vatican held a conference with Islamic religious leaders and scholars. The participants agreed to condemn terrorism and protect religious freedom, but they did not address issues of conversion or the rights of Christians in majority-Muslim countries to worship.

The church is also engaged in a dialogue with Muslims that was organized by the king of Saudi Arabia, where non-Muslims may not worship in public.
 

Thomas

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Hi Wil —

I'm looking forward to him not tearing down the bridges built by PJPII
Remember Cardinal Ratzinger was a JPII appointment, and considered his natural successor by many. I think history will show BXVI a better theologian than JPII, and JPII a better pastor than BXVI.

(Then again, JPII's Theology of the Body is something else, my untutored guess is that because he thought in his native tongue, many English-thinking theologians found him 'difficult' in translation.)

Meanwhile BXVI pushes forward on dialogue ... a new Christianity/Islam dialogue was launched only recently.

What both JPII and BXVI affirm is interreligious dialogue cannot take place in any meaningful manner if one or both sides pretends there are no differences, or if one or t'other is obliged to abandon their faith and belief.

Our (as a Catholic) toughest task is dialogue within the local geographic communion. Both Russia and Greece saw JPII as 'trespassing' on their turf and relations are described as 'cordial' and 'cool' ... I bet we'd get a warmer greeting off a Wiccan at the moment, the way things stand.

If you look at BXVI's speeches, he always calls for men of every tradition to stand firm and affirm the absolute moral values contained therein, in the face of the pernicious undermining of human values by a secular philosophical relativism which is Enemy No1 in his eye.

Thomas
 

Nick_A

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As I understand it, "whoring" is a term used in the Bible to describe this Interfaith tendency to strive after what feels good. A legitimate teaching will include aspects difficult and unpleasant to face so it is natural to avoid it for what feels good instead of enduring a learning experience.

Eze 23: 30

I will do these [things] unto thee, because thou hast gone a whoring after the heathen, [and] because thou art polluted with their idols.

I believe if one really wishes to profit from their faith inwardly they must stick with it. Do not commit adultery and adopt parts of other faiths while discarding what doesn't feel good for ones ego.

But many are unable to value their own path without appearing to attack another. This is the basis of this foolish tension between Christianity and Judaism for example. It is hard to respect differences and is far more egotistically satisfying to attack or defend an imaginary attack.

Any religion that sacrifices its esoteric views to satisfy exoteric or secular demands must lose its inner value in pursuit of societal goals. This is how the original split between the exoteric and esoteric levels began.

It is now fashionable to deny differences and replace them with platitudes. If we can ever grow to be able to appreciate and respect differences, it would make a world of difference. But we cannot do it so the world continually fights over imaginary egoistic differences.

The Pope is right to defend the unique value of the Catholic tradition. However, the trick is also defending the faith from inner corruption and requires the efforts of those not yet corrupted. Not so easy to find.
 

BlaznFattyz

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is it possible that people tend to lose their stance on what they believe to become liked, popular, or accepted? so the dialogue between faiths becomes more of people trying to break down differences more than trying to understand differences.
 
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