Parliament of World Religions convenes in Mormon country — at last

SALT LAKE CITY (RNS) When the World’s Parliament of Religions first met in Chicago in 1893, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and even Spiritualists prayed together.

But Mormons were kept out.

What a difference 122 years make. On Thursday (Oct. 15), when the Parliament of the World’s Religions — a slight adjustment of the name was made a century after the first meeting — convenes in Salt Lake City, it will not only feature a slate of Mormon voices, it will sit in the proverbial lap of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, its global headquarters only a five-minute walk away.

The selection of this city is no coincidence, organizers and participants say, but a clear sign that both the LDS church and the parliament have evolved.

We have tipis outside the convention center. Native religions were also excluded in 1893.

Catholics around the city are busy.

I must admit I don’t have the foggiest clue what a “Parliament of the World’s Religions” is, or does.

From their website:

Our Approach

The Parliament of the World’s Religions seeks to promote interreligious harmony, rather than unity. The problem with seeking unity among religions is the risk of loss of the unique and precious character of each individual religious and spiritual tradition; this understanding is key to our framework.

Interreligious harmony, on the other hand, is an attainable and highly desirable goal. Such an approach respects, and is enriched by, the particularities of each tradition. Moreover, within each tradition are the resources (philosophical, theological and spiritual teachings and perspectives) that enable each to enter into respectful, appreciative and cooperative relationships with persons and communities of other traditions.

Ok. Fine /w me, I suppose. I see they’ve also included athiests. I’m all for getting along.

Everyone may be equal, but not everyone is counted among the attendees. Catholic, Orthodox, evangelical and Pentecostal Christians do not attend in any strength or send official representatives, with the bulk of Christians coming from mainline Protestant denominations. Most Eastern faiths send representatives, and the Dalai Lama was scheduled to speak until ill health forced him to cancel.

Does anyone know why the bolded part is the case? Are Catholics reluctant to attend due to appearances of indifferentism or philosophical relativism?

I don’t know that part of the report is correct. Is here, and he is most certainly a representative of the Holy See.

Might help in getting along if members of your quorum of apostles would quit bashing Catholics in their speeches, you can hear his take on Catholics in this video at 58:50, according to Ballard Catholics don’t know who God is, they don’t know who the Savior is, they don’t know who the Holy Spirit is. Please tell me how Ballard is trying to get along.

Does it have any affiliation with the World Congress of Families that is due to start in Salt Lake next week?

That, too, is ecumentical.

I doubt they have anything to do with each other. LOL.

Was curious, since they both are coming from Salt Lake this year, and within a week or so of each other.

I think that SLC is trying to bring in large conventions/conferences to their city, with their newish convention center. It has nothing to do with the religious make up of Utah or SLC. If you look at the convention center’s calendar, you’ll see gatherings such as:

LGBTQ Task Force
Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
US Speed Skating

I know that the Episcopal Church had it’s General Convention there this past summer.

Ok. I acknowledge this is a thing. Yes indeed, LDS and Catholics have been going at each other since the beginning, but there has also been cooperation and mutual respect from the very beginning too.

This was apparently also a thing that happened in the Tabernacle in Temple Square:

The evening began with Native American chanting, followed by the Muslim call to prayer, the blowing of Jewish shofars, and Quaker and Episcopalian invocations.

Thereafter, to mention just a few of the evening’s highlights, the Grammy Award-winning singer Yangjin Lamu represented Tibetan Buddhism, Hindus and Cambodian Buddhists performed traditional dances, and Aashish Khan displayed his virtuosity on the lutelike Indian “sarod.” A Sikh quintet shared a sacred song from their heritage. A Catholic choir sang a text by Mother Teresa of Calcutta, and the classical singer Kummar Chatterjee represented Jainism.

Anyone know which Catholic choir?

I really don’t see what hosting many religions in an event like this has to do with a top member of LDS leadership, and apostle, instructing the membership of the LDS church that people with a Catholic background don’t know God or the Savior or the Holy Ghost.:shrug:

From my perspective, I don’t see what your original divisive post has to do with a thread about the Parliament of World Religions. I acknowledged it anyway.


Since the beginning of what? The LDS church?

I see you don’t want to touch Ballard’s disparagement of Catholics or explain how remarks like this by a member of quorum of 12 facilitates “getting along”.

The World Parliament of Religions started at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893…and there have been regular meetings since then…

Here is the Web Page for the World Parliament of Religions:

As a Baha’i representative at our local inter-faith counsel I’m very much for such gatherings.

Agree. Friends and colleagues who attended said it was excellent. Many conversations and shared practices.

Your comment was unnecessary to the thread and seems to border on baiting.

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