Meeting on Sects and New Religious Movements Held in Vatican

Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue Continue Study on Phenomenon

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The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue held a meeting in the chapel of Domus Sanctae Marthae on New Religious Movements. In a statement released by the Holy See, the purpose of the meeting was to “offer an opportunity for further study on the topic, which merits attention and reflection.”

Among those participating were representatives of several Vatican dicasteries, Pontifical Universities, the Italian Episcopal Conference and the Vicariate of Rome.

In 1986, a brief provisional report was published entitled: “The Phenomenon of Sects and the New Religious Movements: Pastoral Challenge”, the result of a questionnaire sent out to the Episcopal Conferences two years prior. Since that time, the aforementioned dicasteries have continued their task of reflection, publishing an anthology of texts entitled: “Sects and New Religious Movements: Texts of the Catholic Church (1986-1994)”.

Among those who addressed the meeting was Archbishop Salvatore Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, Fr. Michael Fuss and Fr. Michael P. Gallagher of the Pontifical Gregorian University, Fr. Alessandro Olivieri Pennesi, director of the Office for New Worship, and Archbishop Juan Usma Gomez, the office director for the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, opened and closed the meeting while Fr. Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot, M.C.C.I., secretary of the same dicastery, acted as moderator. Some of the themes covered include: New Religious Movements and the New Evangelization; New Frontiers of the Sacred; Dialogue and Comparison between Faith and Credulity; Catholics and Pentecostals—Identity, Ties, and Perspectives; and New Age, Analysis of the Cultural Context.

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