Dialogue and proclamation



Reflection And Orientations On Interreligious Dialogue
And The Proclamation Of The Gospel Of Jesus Christ


I am eager to read it and discuss it.

I am finding some amazing stateents thatIi did not know existed:

  1. The contribution of the Magisterium

It was to this early Christian vision of history that the Second Vatican Council made reference. After the Council, the Church’s Magisterium, especially that of Pope John Paul II, has proceeded further in the same direction. First the Pope gives explicit recognition to the operative presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of the members of other religious traditions, as when** in Redemptor Hominis he speaks of their “firm belief” as being “an effect of the Spirit of truth operating outside the visible confines of the Mystical Body**” (No. 6). In Dominum et Vivificantem, he takes a further step, affirming the universal action of the Holy Spirit in the world before the Christian dispensation, to which it was ordained, and referring to the universal action of the same Spirit today, even outside the visible body of the Church (cf. No. 53).

  1. John Paul II and the approach to other religious traditions

In his address to the Roman Curia after the World Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi, Pope John Paul II stressed once more the universal presence of the Holy Spirit, stating that “every authentic prayer is called forth by the Holy Spirit, who is mysteriously present in the heart of every person,” Christian or otherwise. But again, in the same discourse, the Pope, going beyond an individual perspective, articulated the main elements which together can be seen as constituting the theological basis for a positive approach to other religious traditions and the practice of interreligious dialogue.

  1. The mystery of the unity of all mankind

First comes the fact that the whole of humankind forms one family, due to the common origin of all men and women, created by God in his own image. Correspondingly, all are called to a common destiny, the fullness of life in God. Moreover, there is but one plan of salvation for humankind, with its centre in Jesus Christ, who in his incarnation “has united himself in a certain manner to every person” (RH 13; cf. GS 22.2). Finally, there needs to be mentioned the active presence of the Holy Spirit in the religious life of the members of the other religious traditions. From all this the Pope concludes to a “mystery of unity” which was manifested clearly at Assisi, "in spite of the differences between religious professions."(13)

  1. The unity of salvation

From this mystery of unity it follows that all men and women who are saved share, though differently, in the same mystery of salvation in Jesus Christ through his Spirit. Christians know this through their faith, while others remain unaware that Jesus Christ is the source of their salvation. The mystery of salvation reaches out to them, in a way known to God, through the invisible action of the Spirit of Christ. Concretely, it will be in the sincere practice of what is good in their own religious traditions and by following the dictates of their conscience that the members of other religions respond positively to God’s invitation and receive salvation in Jesus Christ, even while they do not recognize or acknowledge him as their saviour (cf. AG 3,9,11).

I was drawn to #27 too.

“every authentic prayer is called forth by the Holy Spirit, who is mysteriously present in the heart of every person,” Christian or otherwise.

Also, I must give credit where credit is due. I’ve found #31 in many of my interactions here on CAF:

To say that the other religious traditions include elements of grace does not imply that everything in them is the result of grace. For sin has been at work in the world, and so religious traditions, notwithstanding their positive values, reflect the limitations of the human spirit, sometimes inclined to choose evil. An open and positive approach to other religious traditions cannot overlook the contradictions which may exist between them and Christian revelation. It must, where necessary, recognize that there is incompatibility between some fundamental elements of the Christian religion and some aspects of such traditions.

  1. Dialogue and purification
    This means that, while entering with an open mind into dialogue with the followers of other religious traditions, Christians may have also to challenge them in a peaceful spirit with regard to the content of their belief.

Sometimes I have a hard time seeing the “peaceful spirit” part, but everything else here I’ve personally experienced many times. (And heaven knows I have enough of my own struggles obtaining and showing a ‘peaceful spirit’.)

39, too, is interesting:

Addressing the 1984 Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, the Pope declared: “(Interreligious) dialogue is fundamental to the Church, which is called to collaborate in God’s plan with her methods of presence, respect and love towards all persons.”

Love is sometimes hard to see on a computer screen. I assume it’s there if it’s not apparent. Respect is something else - when it’s present, it is seen. When it isn’t there, it’s pretty easy to detect.

So much more here. The dialogue of theological exchange and religious experience? Count me as a fan. Obstacles to dialogue # 52? Wow. If they ever make me emperor of the mormons, I’ll make sure some of this is required reading before someone gets the priesthood. :slight_smile:

Hah! and in a peaceful spirit how about:

  1. The forms of dialogue

There exist different forms of interreligious dialogue. It may be useful to recall those mentioned by the 1984 document of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue(17). It spoke of four forms, without claiming to establish among them any order of priority:

a) The dialogue of life, where people strive to live in an open and neighbourly spirit, sharing their joys and sorrows, their human problems and preoccupations.

b) The dialogue of action, in which Christians and others collaborate for the integral development and liberation of people.

c) The dialogue of theological exchange, where specialists seek to deepen their understanding of their respective religious heritages, and to appreciate each other’s spiritual values.

d) The dialogue of religious experience, where persons, rooted in their own religious traditions, share their spiritual riches, for instance with regard to prayer and contemplation, faith and ways of searching for God or the Absolute.

Maybe we often put too much emphasis on the theology and not enough on dialogue of life and dialogue of action which can draw more on what we have in common in our human experience and struggles of life.

Now there is another thread on “Vatican officials review accomplishments in interreligious dialogue”


It linked to L’osservatore Roman artilces in super small print. They gives some good historical backrgound on the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.