View on Religions: Yes to Unity, No to Uniformity

VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 29, 2005 ( The president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue says that religions can make a very positive contribution to peace, human dignity and human values.

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But unity does not mean uniformity, Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald was quick to add.

«Among the religions, fundamental differences of belief cannot be eliminated so as to bring about one super-religion,» the prelate said.

The archbishop made this proposal at the congress commemorating the 40th anniversary of «Nostra Aetate,» the Second Vatican Council declaration on the relation of the Church to non-Christian religions.

The congress, which closed Wednesday, was held at the Gregorian University in Rome. It attracted 300 participants, including from Israel.

According to Archbishop Fitzgerald, the possibility that religions will unite to make a «valid contribution to society» presupposes respect for «the identity of each religion» and no «attempt to unify all religions.»

The congress was organized by the Institute on Religions and Culture and the Cardinal Bea Center for Judaic Studies of the Gregorian University. Among the congress’s 100-plus workshops was one on «Vatican II, ‘The Passion of the Christ’ and the Future of Catholic-Jewish Dialogue.»

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