Dialogue and Unity is the work of fostering cooperation with other Christian traditions and other religions throughout the Diocese. Unity with other Christians is not just a task for us it is also a gift from God. Keeping our gaze fixed on Christ, we can journey together, learning from each other in humility and openness.
Dialogue and cooperation with those of other religions comes from our desire for peace amongst all of goodwill. Those Catholics who wholeheartedly engage with other Christians/those of other religions find a deepening and greater understanding of their own faith commitment. There is much work to be done in our local communities and together with other Christians and those of other religions we can make a difference for the Common Good.
The Second Vatican Council is our foremost teaching document for the areas Dialogue and Unity. Three sections are of particular relevance.
- Decree on Ecumenism – Unitatis Redintegratio (The restoration of unity)
- Declaration on the relation of the Church to non-Christian religions - Nostra Aetate (In our day)
- Declaration on Religious Liberty – Dignitatis Humanae (Of the dignity of the human person.
The Catholic Bishops Conference of England Wales in 2010 provided the document Meeting God in Friend and Stranger – Fostering respect and mutual understanding between religions. This document opens up to us the Church teaching in our context here in England and Wales.
‘The Catholic Church embraces with hope the commitment to ecumenism as a duty of the Christian conscience enlightened by faith and guided by love, Jesus himself, at the hour of his Passion, prayed 'that they may all be one' (Jn 17:21).’
Throughout our Diocese, Catholics are engaged in ecumenical and interfaith groups. Each of these groups is unique and most will have some aspect to their activity that involves working for the Common Good in their communities. Christian groups will share times of prayer together. Interfaith groups may come together to pray in their own traditions rather than specifically pray together. Such occasions are times of solidarity and deep respect. If you would like to make contact with a local group the Dialogue and Unity Adviser will be happy to help you.