In a report on the recent naming of Cardinal Jean Louis Tauran to head the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, Vatican Radio said the decision to appoint the cardinal shows the importance Pope Benedict XVI places on dialogue with other religious, including Islam.
Speaking on Vatican Radio, Cardinal Tauran spoke about the decision to make the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue a dicastery in its own right again. “I think it shows the great importance the Pope gives to dialogue between religious and, in particular, with Islam. Therefore he desired that this council recover its autonomy in order to be an effective instrument at the service of dialogue between religions,” he said.
Cardinal Tauran said the Pope’s address at the University of Ratisbona in 2006 had “decisive influence,” as the reactions to the speech allowed the Pope to clarify his thought. In his discourses to representatives from Arab countries and from Asia the Pope’s train of thought can be clearly seen, he explained, in that “inter-religious dialogue is a factor for peace,” because religions are at its service.
In the interview, Vatican Radio underscored the vast diplomatic experience of Cardinal Tauran, who acknowledged, “According to what the Holy Father has told me, in fact, my experience with the problem of the Middle East and the knowledge that I have of the Arab world will help me give my two cents for the building up of this dialogue between religions.”
He said he would listen to the advice of his collaborators and he expressed his desire to work together with other Vatican dicasteries, so that all of them “can have a complete vision about the problems of this dialogue.”
“The Pope continues to reiterate, as he did in Cologne, that dialogue with Muslims for example is not something passing, but rather it belongs to the action of the Church,” Cardinal Tauran said. “Because the Church is the essence of God in sense the Christ is the Word of God. Therefore the Church is Word, she is essentially the conversation and dialogue of God,” he stated.