Pope Receives Participants in Interreligious Dialogue Plenary


(07 Jun 08) Pope Benedict XVI today received the participants in the 10th annual Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

The theme of this year's plenary is Dialogue in truth and charity: Pastoral orientations".

In remarks to the gathered participants in the Concistory Hall on Saturday, Pope Benedict XVI said the broader purpose of dialogue is to discover the truth, and the motivation for dialogue is charity, in obedience to the divine mission entrusted to the Church by our Lord Jesus Christ.

At the inauguration of my Pontificate I affirmed that "the Church wants to continue building bridges of friendship with the followers of all religions, in order to seek the true good of every person and of society as a whole" (Address to Delegates of Other Churches and Ecclesial Communities and of Other Religious Traditions, 25 April 2005).

Citing his predecessor, Pope Paul VI, Pope Benedict said the Church's principal responsibility is service to the Truth - "truth about God, truth about man and his hidden destiny, truth about the world, truth which we discover in the Word of God" (Evangelii Nuntiandi, 78), and that the source of the Church's mission is Divine Love.

Dear friends, "Caritas Christi urget nos" (2 Cor 5:14). It is the love of Christ which impels the Church to reach out to every human being without distinction, beyond the borders of the visible Church.

The Holy Father also discussed the importance of sound formation for those who actually conduct interreligious dialogue.

How necessary it is for its promoters to be well formed in their own beliefs and well informed about those of others. It is for this reason that I encourage the efforts of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue to organize formation courses and programmes in interreligious dialogue for different Christian groups, especially seminarians and young people in tertiary educational institutions.

The 10th Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue opened on the 4th of June and held three days of sessions.