While addressing participants in the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Pope Francis encouraged the faithful not to put aside their own beliefs in order to dialogue with those of other faiths but to “have the courage and the patience to encounter and come towards each other as we are.”
Today marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the John Paul II’s historic meeting for peace in the Italian town of Assisi, and was remembered by Pope Benedict XVI with a special pilgrimage to the site along with representatives of other religions and non-believers.
MF writes: “What is your opinion of the ecumenical prayer group, House of God’s Light, affiliated with the Catholic ministry Heart of the Father? They pray in a Presbyterian Church and are involved with using a deliverance ministry. They appear to be part of the Charismatic renewal. Can’t some ecumenical activities lead to a mindset of moral relativism? If all churches are equal, who has the truth? Also, if some of the involved churches promote abortion and gay rights, isn’t there the risk of giving aid and comfort to the enemy? (We are in a culture war, especially in the area of pro-life.)”
S writes: “My Catholic parish is sponsoring an evening of Taizé prayer. I understand that it is ecumenical prayer, but I wonder if it is related to centering prayer and thus new age. There seem to be arguments both for and against it . . . I appreciate any information you can give me that can help me to discern whether this is truly acceptable for Catholics or not.”
By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Last month, when Pope Benedict XVI told a crowd in St. Peter’s Square that Mary took part in her Son’s sacrifice “thus cooperating in the mystery of redemption and becoming mother of all believers,” it touched off a new wave of speculation about whether or not he will declare a fifth Marian dogma naming Mary as Co-Redemptrix.