Interfaith service at the 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero


Conference to Mark 50 Years Since Nostra Aetate

International, interreligious group to consider document’s repercussions in 5 decades

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On the 50th anniversary of the conciliar declaration “Nostra Aetate”, on the relationships between the Catholic Church and non-Christian religions, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, the Commission for Religious Relations with Judaism and the Pontifical Gregorian University (PGU) have organised an international congress from 26 to 28 October hosted by the PGU to commemorate the event and to analyse its repercussions during the last five decades.

The congress will begin on Monday 26 October with greetings from Fr. Francois-Xavier Dumortier, S.J., rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University, and with an introduction by Fr. Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot, M.C.C.J., secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. This will be followed by a screening of the documentary “Nostra Aetate, the Leaven of God”, and interventions from Cardinals Kurt Koch (president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity) and Jean-Louis Tauran (president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue). The day will conclude with greetings from representatives of various religions.

On Tuesday 27, in the morning, the theologian Paul Gilbert S.J. and the philosopher Professor Bruna Costacurta from the Pontifical Gregorian University will consider the theme “Interreligious Dialogue: believers at the service of the human person”, a dual reflection from perspectives of philosophy and theology. The next session will be entitled “Violence and the engagement of religions for peace” with the Fr. Rocco D’Ambrosio (PGU) as moderator of the two round table discussions. In the first, the speakers will be the general secretary of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Italy, Abdellah Redouane, and Rabbi David Rosen, international director of interreligious affairs of the American Jewish Committee. In the second there will be interventions from Alberto Quatrucci (Men and Religions, from the Sant’Egidio Community) and Professor B. Wimalaratana of the Buddhist Bellamwila Rajamaha Viharaya temple in Sri Lanka.

The theme of the afternoon session will be “The challenge of religious freedom”, with Fr. Franco Imoda, S.J., as the moderator of the two round tables. In the first, the speaker will be Rev. Fr. Christian Rutishauser S.J., Permanent Consultor of the Holy See for religious relations with Jews, and Rabbi Daniel Sperber of the Bar-Ilan University, Israel, while in the second there will be interventions by Rasoul Rasoulipor of the Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences of the University of Kharazmi, Iran and Swami Chidananda of the FOWAI (Flame of Who Am I?) Forum, India.

On Wednesday 28 October, the participants in the Congress will attend the morning general audience with the Holy Father, and in the afternoon they will debate the issue of “Education and the transmission of values”. The moderator will be Fr. Bryan Lobo, S.J. (PGU), and the speakers Singh Walia of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib World University, India; Nayla Tabbara, of the ADYAN Foundation, Lebanon; Rabbi Riccardo Segni, chief rabbi of the Jewish Community of Rome, and Samani Pratibha Pragya of the Jain Vishwa Bharati Institute, United Kingdom.

The Congress will conclude with a presentation by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, entitled “Educating for peace”.

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