Peace and justice through inter-faith dialogue

posted Jan 5, 2016, 7:58 AM by Vidal Martinez


Dialogue means more than talking at each other, it means listening


Since Pope Paul VI instituted it in 1967, every new year begins with the World Day of Peace.

In a conversation with Japanese teachers and students, Pope Francis said:

“It is impossible for peace to exist without dialogue. All the wars, all the strife, all the unsolved problems over which we clash are due to a lack of dialogue. When there is a problem, talk: this makes peace.”

But dialogue means more than talking at each other. It means listening. “And what is the deepest approach we should have in order to dialogue and not quarrel?

Meekness, the ability to encounter people, to encounter cultures peacefully; the ability to ask intelligent questions. Listening to others and then speaking. All this is meekness.”

Jesus described his heart as meek and humble. As we ask him to make our hearts like his, we are asking to have the meekness that is the basis for encounter and dialogue — the way to peace.

When he visited Turkey, Pope Francis spoke of the “sacred character” of “human life, a gift of God the Creator.” He said: “Fanaticism and fundamentalism need to be countered by the solidarity of all believers. This solidarity must rest on the following pillars: respect for human life and for religious freedom.”

And he gave us the challenge that is behind our prayer this month: “The world expects those who claim to adore God to be men and women of peace who are capable of living as brothers and sisters, regardless of ethnic, religious, cultural or ideological differences.”

— Pope Francis’ universal prayer intention for January: That sincere dialogue among men and women of different faiths may produce the fruits of peace and justice.
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