Archbishop Kevin McDonald, Chair of two Bishops’ Conference committees – ‘Other Faiths’ and ‘Catholic/Jewish Relations’, has spoken at an interreligous dialogue forum at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, 11 May.
Representing Cardinal Tauran and the Holy See’s Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Archbishop McDonald presented the dangers and opportunities of our times as common to the ‘revealed religions’.
Highlighting that peace is a ‘gift of God’ in the eyes of the so-called Abrahamic faiths, he lamented the “serious lack of religious literacy” that leads some in society to view religion as an obstacle to peace or, indeed, a factor in conflict:
“Some people see religion as a cultural factor that runs counter to peace, there is a serious lack of the religious literacy that would enable them to engage with the dynamics of faith and to understand how religions exist for the upbuilding of the human community…”
“…In a society which no longer has shared values and where the vision of a good society is fragile and unstable, religions have a vital role to play. If we of the ‘revealed religions’ can articulate fundamental human values together then we can make a powerful contribution to the common good and to peace in the world.”
The theme of the forum was “Peace in Revealed Religions”.