Category Archives: Interfaith Dialogue

Rosh Hashanah 5773/2012-13

Pope with Shofar.jpgA blessed Rosh Hashanah (head of the year) to our Jewish brothers and sisters!!! The Jewish calendar marks 5773.

The feast of Rosh Hashanah is remembrance that we didn’t make ourselves. It is a fitting opportunity to make the biblical connections of God’s creation of the world. Some will call this feast a time to get your spiritual house in order. Thus, a time of prayer and reflection.
Rosh Hashanah is observed variously according to the Jewish which is followed.
The feast begins on Sunday, September 16 and ends Tuesday, September 18 (in the evening).

Pope encourages sustained inter-religious dialogue

Every 5 years a bishop is to make a visit to the Eternal City first to pray at the tombs of Saints Peter and Paul and secondly to make a report to the Pope (and his curia). The church-term for such a meeting is called the “ad limina” — to the threshold of the apostles, the Church, the heartbeat of our faith. It is not a meeting of checking-in with the CEO, CFO and the COO of the company. For a bishop is not a branch manager. This is a gesture of communion between two people who are in love with Christ and His sacrament, the Church; it is a meeting of one pastor meeting the Supreme Pastor, Christ, through the ministry of the See of Peter. It is a time to verify the good being done and to get feedback about what more needs to be done for the good of the faithful. With Benedict’s age I think the 5-year meeting is now about every 7 years. 

In recent weeks, Benedict has been meeting with Indonesian bishops. Part of his concluding address to the latest group has an encouragement to advocate inter-religious dialogue. As you can tell, Pope Benedict XVI is a pope of dialogue. The relevant paragraph follows:

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Yousef Nadarkhani sentenced to death for being Christian in Iran, the Church silent

Yousef Nadarkhani.jpgYousef Nadarkhani, 33, is a Christian; he’s never practiced Islam, the faith of his family. He converted Christianity at the age of 19. A court ruled that he’s guilty of apostasy but he’s also being accused of security charges, running a brothel, being a rapist and being a Zionist. And now he faces death. 

BUT it seems that the charge of apostasy is being minimized or completely discounted now; information conflict. Nadarkhani was arrested October 13, 2009.
“I am resolute in my faith and Christianity and have no wish to recant,” Yousef Nadarkhani said.
Benjamin Weinthal’s article in The Jerusalem Post gives some more detail.

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“Ecumenism Is To Be Revived and Promoted” says Mansueto Bianchi

Luca Rolandi ppublished an article on the Vatican Insider “Ecumenism Is To Be Revived and Promomoted” taking his cue from the Italian bishop and president of the CEI commission on Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue who spoke at a recent ecumenical event on Spirituality at the Monastery of Bose.

The Bishop of Pistoia said that “In the Italian church there is a wealth of initiatives, aggregates, experiences who action is not flashy but is of great value… a sensitivity to be revived and promoted.” 
Bishop Manseuto Bianchi noted that the Monastery of Bose, founded by Brother Enzo Bianchi, a charismatic man who is not related to the bishop but shares the surname, is setting the pace of what it means to do the necessary and hard work of ecumenism. The programs of Bose affect and effect a “greater coordination and a renewed promotion in parishes, particularly among young people.” 
Why is this important? Because the unity of the Church is a stake. Christian unity is not an option, it is not ideology of the liberals: the unity of Christians is what and who Christians are by Baptism, and it is what we ought to work harder at. Pope Benedict is called by some “the Pope of Christian Unity.” Can you say the same of yourself, your pastor, your bishop?
We are a month away from Pope Benedict’s meeting in Assisi with delegates from the world’s religions; the Assisi path is not just for the Pope, it is a journey that all of us have to walk.

Truly an ecumenical approach born from the good news of Christianity

The head of the Communion and Liberation Movement, Father Julián Carrón wrote an editorial for tomorrow’s (July 14, 2011) edition of the L’Osservatore Romano about the forthcoming Day of Prayer in Assisi on October 27, recognizing the theme of peace and justice. 

Day of Prayer in Assisi.jpg

The Day for
Reflection, Dialogue and Prayer for Peace and Justice in the World, convoked in
Assisi next October 27 by Benedict XVI is an audacious gesture, just as Blessed
John Paul II’s initiative was, 25 years ago.

“In the name of what can (Pope
Wojtyla) call exponents of all religions together to pray in Assisi?” asked Don
Luigi Giussani twenty-five years ago. He answered, “If one understands the
nature of man, the heart of man, it is his religious sense, it is in the
religious sense that all men find equality and identity
. The most profound
meaning in the human heart is religious sentiment, destiny on the one hand and
the usefulness of the present on the other
. If we want to use the right terms,
a sense of religion is the only sense which is truly catholic, which means
suitable for everyone and belonging to everyone.”

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About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]
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