15 June 2013 – Afternoon
The Vatican’s senior official heading up the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue has spoken about the changing make-up of our communities and how we should be “consciously cultivating” good relationships with our neighbours of other faiths.
Speaking at a service of Vespers at Birmingham’s Metropolitan Cathedral of St Chad, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran said that for relationships to flourish between people who belong to other faith communities, friendships need to be “based on mutual respect and understanding that eventually could lead to mutual collaboration for the common good, for peace and harmony towards the development of the society.”
“Think of the place where you live. Years ago, perhaps the people living next door were those who shared your faith, your culture. But it is not so any more.
“The families that live next to that of yours either ‘side by side’ or ‘face to face’ are ones that probably belong to other faiths. A good number of your colleagues in the schools, colleges where you learn or teach, the Government or the private offices or the factories, firms that you work in are those who profess a faith that is different than that of yours.
“In this pluralistic situation, we have no other option than consciously cultivating friendly relationships with all of them based on mutual respect and understanding that eventually could lead to mutual collaboration for the common good, for peace and harmony towards the development of the society.
“This is all what interreligious dialogue is about: Being rooted in our own faith, cultivating, despite differences, harmonious relationships among believers of diverse religions and collaborating with them for the good of humanity with shared values and convictions.”
Cardinal Tauran’s address at the service of Vespers in St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham, can be downloaded to the right of this article.
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