interreligious dialogue

LA Times_Watts Riots

Black Crime and White Flight

The recent events in Ferguson, MO, in which a “gentle giant” was shot and killed after assaulting a policeman, leading to demonstrations and riots, brought back to me memories of the August 1965 Watts riots in Los Angeles, which likewise developed in the aftermath of assaults on a policeman after a young black man was [...]

How the Sensitivity Movement Desensitized Catholics to Evil

Remember bell-bottoms, beads, and tie-dyed shirts? Remember encounter groups, Esalen, and trust falls? Remember “self-esteem,” “risk-taking,” “self-awareness” and the other clichés that were born with the human potential movement? Both bell-bottoms and human potential psychology became popular in the mid-sixties. Bell-bottoms, however, eventually went out of style. Human potential psychology never did. If you don’t [...]

The Downside of Dialogue

Dialoguers say the darndest things. The conclusion to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ document, Revelation: Catholic and Muslim Perspectives, contains the following: “Both Jesus and Muhammad loved and cared for all whom they met, especially the poor and oppressed.” Would that include the seven hundred men of the Qurayza tribe who were beheaded [...]

Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue Slams Islamists

In reaction to the depredations of the Islamic State in Iraq, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue issued a statement last week strongly condemning the militants. The statement also called on religious leaders, “especially Muslims,” to condemn the crimes and denounce “the use of religion to justify them.” “If not,” it asks, “what credibility will [...]

Christianity and Islam: A Common Heritage?

Recently two prominent American bishops joined two leading Shiite Muslim scholars in Iran in issuing a statement on weapons of mass destruction. According to the statement, “Christianity and Islam cherish a common heritage that emphasizes, above all, love and respect for the life dignity, and welfare of all members of the human community.” It went [...]

Should Christian Leaders Defend Islam?

Is there such a thing as bad religion? Or is religion by its very nature a good thing? Throughout most of history, most people wouldn’t have hesitated to label some religions as bad. The Romans condemned the child-sacrificing religion of the Carthaginians, Christians condemned the Aztec religion for its human sacrifice, and Catholics condemned Arians [...]

Pope Francis and the Catholic Way of Dialogue

“Dialogue, dialogue, dialogue.” That, according to Pope Francis, is the response he gives when leaders ask him for advice about how to resolve their societies’ internal differences. It is, he recently told a gathering of prominent Brazilians, the only way for societies to avoid the dead-ends of what Francis called “selfish indifference” and “violent protest.” [...]

But Whom May We Evangelize?

People are curious. They like to know “what’s new.” Most people, whatever their background, do not, however, like to be proselytized, to be made unsettled in their normal beliefs and practices by some sharp stranger wanting to convert them to something or other. We tolerate many diverging views provided that their advocates do not seek [...]

Benedict Defends Traditional Family in Christmas Address to Roman Curia

It is with great joy that I meet you today, dear Members of the College of Cardinals, Representatives of the Roman Curia and the Governorate, for this traditional event in the days leading up to the feast of Christmas. I greet each one of you cordially, beginning with Cardinal Angelo Sodano, whom I thank for [...]

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