DIALOGUE AND PROCLAMATION
Reflection And Orientations On Interreligious Dialogue
87. Special attention for each religion
The aim of these reflections on interreligious dialogue and proclamation has been to provide some basic clarifications. However, it is important to remember that the various religions differ from one another. Special attention should therefore be given to relations with the followers of each religion.
88. Specific studies on the relationship between dialogues and announcement
It is also important that specific studies on the relationship between dialogue and proclamation be undertaken, taking into account each religion within its geographical area and its socio-cultural context. Episcopal Conferences could entrust such studies to the appropriate commissions and theological and pastoral institutes. In the light of the results of these studies, these institutes could also organize special courses and study sessions in order to train people for both dialogue and proclamation. Special attention is to be given to young people living in a pluralistic environment, who meet the followers of other religions at school, at work, in youth movements and other associations and even within their own families.
89. The need for prayer
Dialogue and proclamation are difficult tasks, and yet absolutely necessary. All Christians, according to their situations, should be encouraged to equip themselves so that they may better fulfil this two-fold commitment. Yet more than tasks to be accomplished, dialogue and proclamation are graces to be sought in prayer. May all continually implore the help of the Holy Spirit so that he may be "the divine inspirer of their plans, their initiatives and their evangelizing activity" (EN 75).
Rome, 19 May 1991
(1) Joint Document of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and the Congregation for Evangelization of Peoples, Rome, 19 May 1991; OR. 21 June, 1991.
(2) The attitude of the Church Towards the Followers of Other Religions: Reflections and Orientations on Dialogue and Mission, AAS 75 , pp. 816-828; also Bulletin Secretariatus pro non Christianis 56 (1984/2), No. 13. (This document will be referred to henceforth as DM).
(3) Insegnamenti 1986, IX/2, pp. 1249-1273; 2019-2029. Cf. Bulletin No. 64 (1987/1), which contains all the Pope's discourses before, during and after the Day of Prayer in Assisi.
(4) Insegnamenti 1987, X/1, pp. 1449-1452. Cf. Bulletin No. 66 (1987/3), pp. 223-225.
(5) Guidelines on Dialogue with People of Living Faith and Ideologies, World Council of Churches, Geneva 1979; "Mission and Evangelism - an Ecumenical Affirmation", in International Review of Mission 71 (1982), pp. 427-451.
(6) DM 3.
(7) DM 37.
(8) Because the spiritual patrimony common to Christians and Jews is so great (NA 4), dialogue between Christians and Jews has its own special requirements. These are not dealt with in this document. For a full treatment, cf. Commission for Religious Relations with Jews, Guidelines on Religious Relations with Jews, 1 December 1974 (in Austin P. Flannery, O.P., ed. Documents of Vatican II, 1984, pp. 743-749); "Notes for a Correct Presentation of Jews and Judaism in Catholic Preaching and Catechesis", 24 June 1985, in Origins vol. 15, No. 2 (4 July 1985), pp. 102-107.
(9) The question of New Religious Movements has been treated in a recent document published in collaboration by the following Pontifical Councils: PC for Promoting Christian Unity, PC for Interreligious Dialogue, PC for Dialogue with Non-Believers and PC for Culture. The complete text can be found in Origins vol. 16, No. 1 (22 May 1986); French original in La Documentation Catholique, No. 1919 (1 June 1986).
(10) Justin speaks about the "seeds" sown by the Logos in the religious traditions. Through the incarnation the manifestation of the Logos becomes complete (1 Rv 46:1-4; 2 Rv 8:1; 10:1-3; 13:4-6). For Irenaeus, the Son, the visible manifestation of the Father, has revealed himself to mankind "from the beginning"; yet the Incarnation brings about something entirely new (Adv. Haer., 4,6,5-7; 4.7,2; 4,20,6-7). Clement of Alexandria explains that "philosophy" was given to the Greeks by God as a "covenant", as a "stepping-stone to the philosophy which is according to Christ," as a "schoolmaster" bringing the Hellenistic mind to him (Stromata, 1,5; 6.8; 7,2).
(11) Adv. Haer., 3,11,8.
(12) Retract., 1,13,3; cf. Enarr. in Ps. 118 (Sermo 29,9), 142,3.
(13) Insegnamenti 1986, IX/2, pp. 2019-2029; OR.EE. 5 January 1987.
(14) John Paul II, To Indian Bishops on "ad limina" visit (13 April 1989); Insegnamenti 1989, XII/1, pp. 802 - 804.
(15) Insegnamenti 1984, VII/1, pp. 595-599.
(16) DM 37.
(17) Cf. DM 28-35.
(18) In the early Church, the Kingdom of God is identified with the Reign of Christ (cf. Ep 5:5; Rv 11:15; 12:10). See also Origen, in Mt 14:7; Hom. in Lk 36, where he calls Christ autobasileia, and Tertullian, Adv. Marc. IV, 33,8: "In evangelio est Dei Regnum, Christus ipse". On the correct understanding of the term "kingdom", see the report of the International Theological Commission (8 October 1985): Selected Themes in Ecclesiology, No. 10,3.
(19) DM 13.
(20) Inegnamenti 1986, IX/2, p. 1262.
(21) Cf. Ecclesiam Suam, ch. III; cf. also Insegnamenti 1984, VII/1, p. 598.