Monday, March 5, 2012

Mondays with Verbum Domini

Dialogue with other religions

Here too I wish to voice the Church’s respect for the ancient religions and spiritual traditions of the various continents. These contain values which can greatly advance understanding between individuals and peoples.[380] Frequently we note a consonance with values expressed also in their religious books, such as, in Buddhism, respect for life, contemplation, silence, simplicity; in Hinduism, the sense of the sacred, sacrifice and fasting; and again, in Confucianism, family and social values. We are also gratified to find in other religious experiences a genuine concern for the transcendence of God, acknowledged as Creator, as well as respect for life, marriage and the family, and a strong sense of solidarity.

Dialogue and religious freedom

All the same, dialogue would not prove fruitful unless it included authentic respect for each person and the ability of all freely to practise their religion. Hence the Synod, while encouraging cooperation between the followers of the different religions, also pointed out “the need for the freedom to profess one’s religion, privately and publicly, and freedom of conscience to be effectively guaranteed to all believers”: indeed, “respect and dialogue require reciprocity in all spheres, especially in that which concerns basic freedoms, more particularly religious freedom. Such respect and dialogue foster peace and understanding between peoples”.

-Verbum Domini 119-120

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