Thursday, August 1, 2013

Dialogue does not imply denial of religious faith or betrayal of religious affiliation

Many within the Christian world dispute on whether the various denominations should be in a dialogue status. However, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, when explaining about dialogue with different religions, he gives a valid answer to this dispute, explaining:


“Dialogue does not imply denial of religious faith or betrayal of religious affiliation. Instead, it signifies a shift in our mind-set and a change of attitudes, what in spiritual language we call ‘repentance’ – or, as we have already seen, in Greek, metanoia, which literally means seeing things through a different perspective. This is why dialogue is the start of a long and patient process of conversation, not a fundamentalist drive toward conversion or some legal exchange of ideas like a contract. It is a way of learning how to listen in order to hear, so that Muslims can feel welcome and safe in Christian countries and so that Christians can feel welcome and safe in Muslim countries; so that both Jews and Palestinians may feel welcome and safe in the Middle East; so that all minorities in all places can enjoy the same rights and privileges as their neighbours”[1].



[1] Bartholomew, Ecumenical Patriarch, Encountering the Mystery, (Doubleday, New York, 2008), p. 216

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