Loading
Vatican looks to expand dialogue with non-believers to US
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi

.- As Paris prepares to host a new forum for dialogue between believers and non-believers, the Vatican official in charge of the initiative sees interest cropping up all over the globe.

The first major "Courtyard of the Gentiles" meeting is due to take place this March 24-25 in the French capital. The Pontifical Council for Culture-promoted program aims to engage leaders of French culture in dialogue on issues of religion, enlightenment and common reason.

Important sites of culture, including the storied Sorbonne University, have been chosen for a series of encounters.

There will also be a moment for young people to meet in a more public "courtyard," the large square outside the Basilica of Notre Dame, to have discussions. Pope Benedict XVI will address the young people in a video message. Inside the basilica, the ecumenical Taize community will be leading a prayer service.

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the head of the council for culture, told Vatican Radio Feb. 5 that interest is being generated around the world. The council has heard from a number of cities interested in the possibility of hosting such a forum of their own.

One institution, the University of Bologna, Italy – called the Alma Mater Studiorum ­– plans to hold a gathering next week, ahead of the Paris event in March.

On Feb. 12, the university will bring back the tradition of "disputed questions." Cardinal Ravasi said that this was traditionally an exchange of opinions on a variety of subjects, whereas questions in the coming event will pertain to matters of belief and non-belief.

During the talks, four professors will exchange viewpoints on God while examining law, philosophy, literature and science. Teachings from Pascal, St. Augustine and Nietzsche will be read aloud by another participant in between the academics' remarks.

For Cardinal Ravasi, the amount of interest is "very surprising." His original plan in Paris –what he called "the city-emblem of secularism" – was to host a more low-key event at a Catholic institution.

"Then, though, I saw this branching out. And this branching out is extending itself ever further and with very different typologies. It will now be our task to continue it, but most of all to allow others to do it."

The council is thinking of staging one in Tirana, Albania and is thinking about setting up another in Stockholm, Sweden in November of this year. The latter event would be particularly "curious," he said, because of the initiative's Catholic roots and expected participation from Lutherans.

For the cardinal, there is no limit to the possibilities. He spoke of "crossing the ocean and going to the most remote countries, beginning with the United States, where there has already been interest in Chicago and Washington."

Afterwards, he is setting his sights on countries with a small population of Catholics but a presence of "a religiosity of another kind."

"Let's think to Asia," he said.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Aug
23

Liturgical Calendar

August 23, 2014

Saturday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 23:1-12

Gospel
Date
08/23/14
08/22/14
08/19/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Ezek 43: 1-7AB
First Reading:: Mt 23: 1-12

Saint of the Day

St. Rose of Lima »

Saint
Date
08/23/14
08/19/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 23:1-12

Homily
Date
08/23/14
08/22/14
08/19/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: