Rome, Italy, Feb 7, 2011 / 13:26 pm
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.