Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Interreligious dialogue question

This is something i've been mulling for a while. Let's have at it.

Since the Roman Catholic Church is the one true Church (the only one founded by Christ Himself) and since our mission as Catholics is to go forth and make disciples of all nations, at what point during the Church's dialogue with other faiths and/or Christian denominations do we confront that? In Lumen Gentium, the Fathers write that other Christian Churches are Churches in as much as they subsist in the Catholic Church, meaning are in union with the Catholic Church. In the Gospels, Jesus tells us to spread the Good News, to makes disciples of all nations.

So, when talking with any non-Catholic, how far can the dialogue go before we say: but you're missing something big?

I know a priest of our Archdiocese who does a lot of work in this area (he got back from a 2 week trip to the Holy Land and Lebanon with his dialogue group last fall) and I haven't been able to pose it to him yet.

I think we can learn a lot from Protestants in different areas. Not the true stuff (creed, liturgy, sacraments, etc.), but the way that they run their programs, especially their outreach to kids and teens. I also think that the zeal of an evangelical Protestant and their knowledge of the Scriptures is to be admired. They aren't ashamed to talk about the "God Stuff"- how many Catholics do you know who constantly seem to say "Yes, I'm Catholic; I'm sorry?"

So, where do we start converting people? Or is the dialogue part of the conversion process (isn't this the Dominican way: Let's start from what we have in common)? Do we act in bad faith if we don't try to convert the people with whom we dialogue? Or does the conversion come through our own conviction?

Let's be kind in the comment box, please.

No comments: