Mission Priorities

Seek and Engage in Dialogue

Pope Benedict at the Interreligious meeting in Twickenham

During his Visit to the United Kingdom, the Holy Father sought dialogue with politicians, civic leaders, leaders and members of other Christian traditions, other religions and also non-believers. In this way, he reminded us that this is our shared task as a Catholic Community. Central to this dialogue is the language of reason which his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, reflected on in the encyclical Fides et Ratio (Faith and Reason). Pope Benedict once again made clear that the Christian faith makes reasonable sense.

Catholic Mission in 2011 and the years that follow will be furthered by each of us being better equipped to enter into conversation with people about questions of life and faith. The Pope’s words in this regard can be summarised as follows: our dialogue should appeal to faith and reason; we are called to contribute to faith conversation and debate especially with members of other religions and those of no religious faith.

Britain is enriched by being a country that welcomes people from other cultures. In many of our cities and towns there are large Italian, Polish, Indian, Bangladeshi, West Indian and Ukrainian communities, amongst many others. There is also a diversity of places of worship which makes for a rich religious heritage. Deep and lasting friendships have been fostered between religious and community leaders. It is essential that the Catholic Community across the UK engages in dialogue with all people.

The Holy Father said, "The dialogue of life involves simply living alongside one another and learning from one another in such a way as to grow in mutual knowledge and respect."

Address at the interreligious meeting, 17 September 2010

How might you respond to these words?

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