quarta-feira, 21 de maio de 2008


Inter-religious Dialogue as a Necessity
in our Migrant Ministry
I Introduction
We, the members of JPIC Coordinators of SSpS and SVD, recognize the dialogue between Christians and Muslims as an important contribution in the process of creating peace in our world. We want to apply this dialogue especially in our migrant ministry.
Both congregations have a long tradition in encountering various cultures and religions. This has been enriching for us and for the universal church as well. Referring to Prophetical Dialogue as a priority of our common mission we commit ourselves to continue this good tradition.
II Catholic Position
We refer to the teaching of the Catholic Church in regard to Christian-Muslim relationship in the actual situation
a) Nostra Aetate and Lumen Gentium
b) Reply to the Letter from 138 representatives of all Muslims denominations
c) Writings on socio-political issues in Europe

III Conditions for Inter-religious Dialogue with Muslims
Dialogue is not easy. It is important to recognize the necessary conditions which are implied for it to be fruitful. Here are some:
Mutual Respect
The differences must be respected. Mutual respect is one of the most important attitudes in dialogue.
Prudence and Love (Veritas et caritas)
This is the attitude exhorted by Nostra Aetate. It means to examine the tenet of other faiths in the light of one’s own faith, to discern the good from the bad. On the other hand, dialogue requires true love.
A balanced attitude
One should be neither ingenuous nor hypercritical, or suspicious. It is absolutely necessary to have an open mind and a welcoming spirit. There must be impartiality, and a real desire to find a just solution, one which will be acceptable to all parties.
Solid convictions
Openness is not opposed to being rooted in one’s own convictions. On the contrary, this rootedness allows one to be open without fearing loss of identity. It can facilitate an understanding of others’ convictions and values.
Openness to truth
Truth is generally not just on one side. Dialogue will help overcome prejudices which prevent truth from being recognized.
Dialogue with Muslims on an ecumenical level
It should not only be the Catholics who seek the dialogue with Muslims.
Dialogue has been presented as the most appropriate method for resolving conflicts. Conflicts, however, especially when they are violent, make dialogue, understanding and acceptance extremely difficult. Perhaps dialogue is to be seen less as a cure and more in the order of prevention.
Our witness to our belief and our love is our part of inter-religious dialogue. It is the witness of our faith that God is Love and in the Spirit of Love we find our neighbour (men, women, and children). Our hospitality will be a sign of our love for God and for our neighbour. We believe that the poorest human beings in the globalised world are the neighbours for us Christians.

Catedral of Slovakia

Holy Spirit Sisters in Slovakian Province

Our Slovakian Sisters SSpS have opened a kindergarten there and are slowly winning the confidence of the people. The work of the Sisters among them appeared “very missionary” to us and was a sign of hope in rather hopeless surroundings.
Then, we paid a visit to a rehabilitation centre for people addicted to drugs, alcohol and gambling, where one of our SVD-Brothers belongs to the staff. There, one could already perceive what can be achieved when people with problems are accepted and helped in the spirit of Christ.

Day Out

One afternoon was in part used for sightseeing in the lovely old town of Nitra.
But the second half of it was dedicated to visiting a housing project for Roma-people and other unsheltered persons, far outside the town. In a way, even if children and adults welcomed us cheerfully, it was a depressing experience to meet these people and see the conditions they live in without prospects for improvment. The Vice-Mayor of the Town accompanied us and explained the efforts the town council is making for a better future.