Category Archives: Interfaith Dialogue

“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.”

Read more ...

Pope tells Christians, and Jews, of the guidance of Providence: work together for common good

A delegation of B’nai B’rth International met with Pope Benedict today in Rome. They had done the same 5 years ago (here is the Pope 18 December 2006 address). This meeting is a follow-up meeting of a February meeting held in Paris marking the 40th anniversary of official dialogue between the Holy See and the Jews. As in 2006 so today, the Pope has called Chrsitians and Jews to work more closely together on common projects of healing, spiritual and more values grounded in faith and works of charity for the good of the other. A portion of what the Pope said may be of some interest here:

The Paris meeting affirmed the desire of Catholics and Jews to stand together in meeting the immense challenges facing our communities in a rapidly changing world and, significantly, our shared religious duty to combat poverty, injustice, discrimination and the denial of universal human rights. There are many ways in which Jews and Christians can cooperate for the betterment of the world in accordance with the will of the Almighty for the good of mankind. Our thoughts turn immediately to practical works of charity and service to the poor and those in need; yet one of the most important things that we can do together is bear common witness to our deeply-held belief that every man and woman is created in the divine image (cf. Gen 1:26-27) and thus possessed of inviolable dignity. This conviction remains the most secure basis for every effort to defend and promote the inalienable rights of each human being.

In a recent conversation between delegations of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and the Holy See’s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, held in Jerusalem at the end of March, stress was laid on the need to promote a sound understanding of the role of religion in the life of our present-day societies as a corrective to a purely horizontal, and consequently truncated, vision of the human person and social coexistence. The life and work of all believers should bear constant witness to the transcendent, point to the invisible realities which lie beyond us, and embody the conviction that a loving, compassionate Providence guides the final outcome of history, no matter how difficult and threatening the journey along the way may sometimes appear. Through the prophet we have this assurance: “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jer 29:11).

The on-going work of remembering of the Jewish holocaust

H2O News aired an interview with an acquaintance of mine, Jesuit Father David Neuhaus, who gave his family’s recollection of the Nazi atrocities in WWII. Himself a convert to Catholicism his thoughts are poignant. Each year at January’s end there is a Day of Remembrance. Father David is the vicar of Hebrew Christians for the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem. I recommend watching the interview.

Father Samir Khalil Samir speaks on Egyptian reform today

Egyptian Jesuit Father Samir Khalil Samir is a Professor
at Rome’s Pontifical Oriental Institute and scholar on Islam spoke to Emer
McCarthy, an interviewer at Vatican Radio who asked by if a Western concept of political
democracy is adequate to Egypt and other Arab nations. Father Samir saidit is
“applicable but not yet practicable.”


He further said, “What we need first of
all is justice, equality, social reform because the gap between rich and poor
is far too wide and this is the real cause of the Islamic fundamentalist
movement. We need change, the Arab world must change. We need alternate parties
but in our countries there is nothing”. 

Plus, it was advanced that “If you have
authoritarian regimes they systematically destroy all the leaderships so only
people who are in agreement with the current system are in power”. In the case
of Egypt “Mubarack nominated his second in command, Omar Suleiman who is a good
diplomat a military officer. But the question is this good for the country?”.

For more on the story, read it here

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]yahoo.com.
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