Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue


Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue is a dicastery of the Roman Curia. It was erected by Pope Paul VI on May 19, 1964 as the Secretariat for Non-Christians, and later renamed by Pope John Paul II on June 28, 1988.

The current President of the Council for Interreligious Dialogue is Jean-Louis Cardinal Tauran, who formally assumed his position on September 1, 2007.

Promotes dialogue

The PCID is the central office of the Catholic Church for the promotion of interreligious dialogue in accordance with the spirit of the Second Vatican Council, in particular the declaration Nostra Aetate. It has the following responsibilities:
#to promote mutual understanding, respect and collaboration between Catholics and the followers of others religious traditions;
#to encourage the study of religions;
#to promote the formation of persons dedicated to dialogue.

The entirely separate Commission of the Holy See for Religious Relations with the Jews reports to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. However, the two groups do cooperate very closely.

Arinze's platform

This post is largely considered to have made Cardinal Francis Arinze's career. Arinze was created cardinal just before taking the post. He then served in various related capacities including the President of the Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops.

He also received honours in this capacity: On 24 October 1999 he received a gold medallion from the International Council of Christians and Jews for his outstanding achievements in inter-faith relations. He traveled extensively and became a popular speaker in the United States.

His status also rose within the Church. As a member of the Committee of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 he worked closely with individual bishops and priests throughout the world and further impressed Pope John Paul II, who on 1 October 2002, made him Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. This is considered the fourth highest position in the Roman Catholic Church.

Accordingly leadership of the Council is seen by some as a career-maker in the global Church.

Current activities

The activities of the Council today seem focused on communicating on common values and interests to other religious believers and spiritual leaders. It welcomes visitors to Rome, it visits others, runs meetings and publishes "a bulletin, called "Pro Dialogo" three times a year, containing "significant Church texts on dialogue, articles, and news of dialogue activities throughout the world" and an Interreligious Dialogue Directory.

Controversy

On 11 March 2006, Pope Benedict XVI placed the PCID under the leadership of the President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, currently Paul Cardinal Poupard. However, as this was seen as "downgrading" interfaith affairs [Yahoo News. [http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070528/ts_nm/pope_muslims_dc_3 Pope in about-face over Muslim dialogue office] May 28, 2007] , Pope Benedict again gave the Council its own President.

Structure

It consists of a decision-making body, an advisory body and executive body.

Presidents of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue

*Paolo Marella (19 May 1964 - 26 Feb 1973)
*Sergio Pignedoli (6 Mar 1973 - 15 Jun 1980)
*Jean Jadot (27 Jun 1980 - 8 Apr 1984 )
*Francis Arinze (8 Apr 1984 - 1 Oct 2002)
*Michael Fitzgerald (1 Oct 2002 - 15 Feb 2006)
*Paul Poupard (11 Mar 2006 - 1 September 2007)
*Jean-Louis Tauran (1 September 2007 -)

References

External links

* [http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/interelg/documents/rc_pc_interelg_pro_20051996_en.html Official history of the PCID]
* [http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/interelg/ Official vatican.va web page]
* [http://www.gcatholic.com/dioceses/romancuria/d23.htm Giga-Catholic Information]
* [http://www.catholic-hierarchy.org/diocese/dxird.html Catholic-hierarchy.org commentary]
* [http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/chrstuni/relations-jews-docs/rc_pc_chrstuni_doc_19740101_commission-jews_en.html Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews]


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