Holy See Preparing New Document on Interreligious Dialogue

BUENOS AIRES, NOV. 19, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See is preparing a new document on the spiritual dimension of interreligious dialogue.

Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, revealed that news in Argentina, where he is giving a series of talks this week on ecumenism, Islam and relations with Judaism.

Dialogue with believers of other religions “is not a hobby or an extra activity but a duty within the mission of the Church,” he said.

“The problem that arises is how to reconcile dialogue as part of the mission of the Church with Jesus’ mandate to go out and preach,” the archbishop said when greeting representatives from the communities of Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Anglicans, Methodists, evangelical Baptists, Waldensians, and others, at the headquarters of the Argentine Catholic bishops’ conference.

“The Church must dialogue and proclaim, two tasks that are different but not opposed,” the British archbishop said. “We must discover what the Spirit wants from that dialogue.”

The archbishop revealed that the finishing touches are being given to the new document on the spiritual dimension of dialogue. He said the text will address the reasons for engaging in and maintaining dialogue.