Recent events remind Catholics of our commitment to engage in dialogue, not just with Muslims, but with all people of differing religious beliefs. In this 50th anniversary year of the Vatican II Declaration Nostra Aetate, we remember our call to “recognize, preserve and promote the good things, spiritual and moral, as well as the socio-cultural values” found in other religions (Nostra Aetate, no. 2). In the wake of violence, Auxiliary Bishop Robert McElroy of San Francisco reminds us that “we continue to labor for greater understanding and mutual commitment to peace and religious freedom.”
The Bishops’ Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs affirmed the teachings of Nostra Aetate in the document “Dialogue with Muslims,” released in August 2014.The bishops expressed their conviction that “encounter and dialogue with persons different than ourselves offers the best opportunity for fraternal growth, enrichment, witness, and ultimately peace.” As the world mourns violence under the guise of religious fundamentalism, it’s important to remember our teaching and recommit ourselves to the transforming power of dialogue and encounter.
Secretariat of Ecumenical and Interreligious AffairsUnited States Conference of Catholic Bishops