Meeting between the Synod of Bishops and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue
Card. Mario Grech, Secretary General of the Synod, together with Mons. Luis Marín de San Martín, OSA and Sister Nathalie Becquart, XMCJ, both Under-Secretaries, met with Card. Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, MCCJ, Mgr Indunil Janakaratne Kodithuwakku K. and Fr Paulin Batairwa Kubuya, SX, respectively President, Secretary and Under-Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, at the headquarters of the latter Dicastery.
Tuesday 18 January 2022, during the meeting, the leaders of the General Secretariat of the Synod underlined how the interreligious dimension is among the objectives of the synodal process, outlined in point No. 2 of the Preparatory Document:
– accrediting the Christian community as a credible subject and reliable partner in paths of social dialogue, healing, reconciliation, inclusion and participation, the reconstruction of democracy, the promotion of fraternity and social friendship;
– regenerating relationships among members of Christian communities as well as between communities and other social groups, e.g., communities of believers of other denominations and religions, civil society organizations, popular movements, etc.
Furthermore, it was emphasized that synodality is both dialogue within the whole people of God and dialogue with all humanity in its diversity, including the believers of other religions, as expressed in §29 of the Preparatory Document:
“The second perspective considers how the People of God journeys together with the entire human family. Thus, our gaze will focus on the state of relations, dialogue, and possible common initiatives with believers of other religions, […].”
Moreover, among the ten thematic nuclei to be explored, issue VI is specifically dedicated to interreligious dialogue and its implementation at local church level:
“Dialogue is a path of perseverance that also includes silences and sufferings, but which is capable of gathering the experience of persons and peoples. […] What experiences of dialogue and shared commitment do we have with believers of other religions and with non-believers?”
For their part, the leaders of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue explained the importance of dialogue in all its forms (life, action, theological, spiritual) starting with its implementation at the local church level.
Finally, they emphasized that the spirit of interreligious dialogue goes hand in hand with the dynamic of the spirit of synodality, because it includes commitment, listening, walking together and discernment in order to promote a culture of encounter in the light of the Document on Human Fraternity.
The meeting concluded with a promise between the two Dicasteries to think of different ways and concrete modalities for a more effective collaboration in the future.