Sunday, July 20, 2008

WYD 2008: Building Bridges Between Faiths

WYD 2008 - The Pope invites religious leaders to unite

Well I started by talking about the Interfaith Conference in Madrid Spain and now find myself talking about dialogue between faiths on the other side of the world. The Pope met with leaders of world faiths in Sydney Australia. It is the same type of meeting he held in the U.S. The consistency is important. It emphasizes the Churches commitment to meet and talk honestly and in love with members of other faiths.

The sites of these visits are important. The Holy Father visited the World Trade Center/Ground Zero site while in New York. He met with leaders of Judaism, Islam and other faiths. A similar meeting in the South Pacific is important. Fanatical Islam and Christianity are clashing in Indonesia, the Philippines, and East Timor. Dialog is important if we are to avoid labeling people two dimensionally.

The other interesting thing to come out of this WYD is the idea that interfaith dialogue cannot be reserved for only large events and heads of state or leaders of faith. It must happen here, there, everywhere. It must happen between you and me. We must begin to view the other inhabitants of this planet as they really are, our brothers and sisters. However, for these meetings to be of value we must all know our faiths and be able to separate facts from our opinions. Not an easy task, just an important one.

WYD 2008 - Interreligious dialogue as a way of life

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