40 Years After "Nostra Aetate," Catholics Say Interreligious Dialogue Has Changed Faith Communities

September 27, 2005

Source: Catholic News Service


On September 27, 2005 the Catholic News Service reported, "Forty years of official engagement in interreligious dialogue have changed not only the individuals involved in dialogue, but have caused their faith communities to change somewhat as well, said speakers at a conference in Rome. Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, opened the Sept. 25-28 conference at Gregorian University... The conference marked the 40th anniversary of "Nostra Aetate," the Second Vatican Council's declaration on interreligious dialogue... Archbishop Fitzgerald said one obvious change in the Catholic Church is reflected in the fact that the name of his office went from being the Secretariat for Non-Christians to being the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. The change is 'based on the understanding that one feature of the relationship envisaged is respect for the identity of all engaged in the dialogue. Our partners are not just non-Christians; they have their own identity as Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists or Sikhs,' Archbishop Fitzgerald said... Recognizing the good, noble and beautiful teachings and practices of other faiths increases respect for those faiths, but also calls believers to learn from the other, he said."