Blog Template Theology of the Body: On Inter- Religious Dialogue

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

On Inter- Religious Dialogue

In response to Mark's post below on the necessity and modes of Christianity's "dialogue" with other religions in the modern era, I give you Ratzinger:

"Inter-religious dialogue is part of the Church's evangelizing mission, and is just one of the actions of the Church in her mission to the nations. The Church's proclamation of Jesus Christ, “the way, the truth, and the life” (Jn 14:6), today also makes use of the practice of inter-religious dialogue. Such dialogue certainly does not replace, but rather accompanies the mission to the nations... Inter-religious dialogue, which is part of the Church's evangelizing mission, requires an attitude of understanding and a relationship of mutual knowledge and reciprocal enrichment, in obedience to the truth and with respect for freedom. ...In the practice of dialogue between the Christian faith and other religious traditions, (we) seek to recall to Bishops, theologians, and all the Catholic faithful, certain indispensable elements of Christian doctrine, which may help theological reflection in developing solutions consistent with the contents of the faith and responsive to the pressing needs of contemporary culture. The Church's constant missionary proclamation is endangered today by relativistic theories which seek to justify religious pluralism... In inter-religious dialogue as well, the mission to the nations today as always retains its full force and necessity. Indeed, God ‘desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth' (1 Tim 2:4); that is, God wills the salvation of everyone through the knowledge of the truth. Salvation is found in the truth. Those who obey the promptings of the Spirit of truth are already on the way of salvation. But the Church, to whom this truth has been entrusted, must go out to meet their desire, so as to bring them the truth. Indeed, the Church, guided by charity and respect for freedom, must be primarily committed to proclaiming to all people the truth definitively revealed by the Lord, and to announcing the necessity of conversion to Jesus Christ."

- Dominus Iesus