The Church acknowledges, preserves and promotes the spiritual and moral goods found among followers of other faiths as well as the values in their society and culture (EN 23; NA 1&2). This is what we call inter-religious dialogue. "From the Christian point of view, Inter-Religious Dialogue is more than a way of fostering mutual knowledge and enrichment. Only Christians who are deeply immersed in the mystery of Christ and who are happy in their faith community can without undue risk and with hope of positive fruit engage in inter religious dialogue" (EA 31). Christians bring to inter-religious dialogue the firm belief that the fullness of salvation comes from Christ alone and that the Church Community to which they belong is the ordinary means of salvation.
A Society where members of all religions live in harmony, peace and mutural enrichment.
Formation of human communities of mutual respect and complementarities.
Creating trust among people of all religions
Promoting an attitude of dialogue among all Christians.
DIRECTOR AND MEMBERS
Rev. Fr. Clement D'Souza
: St. Anthony's Church
Barandur Post - 577 245
: 08282 - 240083
COMMISSION DIRECTOR AND MEMBERS
INTER-RELIGIOUS DIALOGUE MINISTRY
Although the Church gladly acknowledges whatever is true and holy in the religious traditions of Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam as a reflection of that which enlightens all people, this does not lessen her duty and resolve to proclaim without failing that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life. In the process of Dialogue, "there must be no abandonment of principles nor false irenicism, but instead a witness given and received for mutual advancement on the road of religious inquiry and experience, and at the same time for the elimination of prejudice, intolerance and misunderstanding"(EA 31). It is therefore important for the Church to provide suitable models of Inter-Religious Dialogue – Evangelisation in Dialogue and Dialogue for Evangelisation- and suitable training for those who are involved in it.
Inter-Religious relations are best developed in a context of openness to other believers, a willingness to listen and the desire to respect and understand others in their differences. This should result in collaboration, harmony and mutual enrichment. In the climate of increased cultural and religious pluralism which is expected to mark the society of the new millennium, it is obvious that this dialogue will be especially important in establishing a sure basis for peace and warding off the dread spectre of those wars of religion which have so often bloodied human history. Dialogue, however, cannot be based on religious indifferentism, and we Christians are duty bound, while engaging in dialogue, to bear clear witness to the hope that is within us.
Commission Action Plan
Efforts should be made to ensure that communities of different creeds, castes and classes live in harmony. Catholics can show solidarity and peaceful co-existence with the non-Christian brethren through their presence at their marriages, funerals and other socio-religious functions.
All Catholics are to be given instruction on the teachings of the Church on other religions to remove prejudices and to give the right knowledge for possible interaction and collaboration with other religions. Solidarity could be shown in arranging programmes for peace, social justice, mutual charity, promotion of human rights and relief in time of need.
Good relations with other religious faiths could be maintained through:
a. The dialogue of life – where people strive to live in an open and neighbourly spirit, sharing their joys and sorrows, their problems and preoccupations;
b. The dialogue of action - where Christians and others collaborate in social work for the integral development and liberation of people;
c. The dialogue of theological exchanges – in sarva dharma sammelanas, sadbhavana meetings and bhavaikyata gatherings;
d. The dialogue of religious experience – where persons rooted in their own religious traditions share their spiritual riches.
Initiation should be given to celebrate common festivals like Deepavali, Ramzan, Ugadi etc., to realise harmony and peaceful co-existence in society.
Heads of other religions could be invited to our educational and social functions/ activities as honoured guests and as speakers at Sarva Dharma Sammelanas or Sadbhavana Kootas at the parish, deanery and diocesan levels on important occasions.