What is Interreligious Dialogue and the differences with Ecumenism
Before going into the subject, it is essential to clarify the difference between ecumenism and interreligious dialogue, because it is often not very clear in our speeches.
Ecumenism is dialogue between the baptised: Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants, we have all received the gift of Baptism and consequently we already share among us the most precious gift, Divine Life, the Life that lasts forever. The purpose of our dialogue is to walk together towards Christ; drawing closer to Him, drawing closer to each other, highlighting the much that already makes us visibly one, and for the rest looking at the differences, more as particularities of one particular Church or another, rather than differences that separate us.
On the other hand, if we look at the history of our communities with faith, we cannot deny that the gift of God that leads us to one another is undoubtedly of greater value and energy than our sin that divides and separates us.
Interreligious dialogue is something else, not to be confused. It is addressed to all other believers, both in the one God (Jews and Muslims) and in many other Gods (the followers of Eastern religions and Traditional religions). We come together to explain the basic principles of each of our beliefs, and to seek out which values we can share and also defend together. For example: with Buddhists, we Christians can certainly endorse the value of non-violence and work together for peace; Muslims remind us of the respect due to the elderly and the esteem for their wisdom.
Interreligious Dialogue, therefore, leads to a positive appreciation of certain aspects of the beliefs of other brothers and sisters, even if we do not share their faith. Indeed, in order to begin a fruitful dialogue, it is essential to be firmly rooted in one's own identity, convinced of one's own faith, otherwise the great risk is a nebulous syncretism.
Why enter into dialogue, how to build a dialogue?
To learn more download the document.