Vatican launches public dialogue with atheists in Paris

March 25, 2011
(UNESCO headquarters in Paris)

(UNESCO headquarters in Paris, 7 Sept 2005/Matthias Ripp)

The Vatican has launched a series of public dialogues with non-believers, choosing leading intellectual institutions in Paris to present its belief that modern societies must speak more openly about God.

The decision to start the series in France, where strong secularism has pushed faith to the fringes of the public sphere, reflected Pope Benedict’s goal of bringing religious questions back into the mainstream of civic debates.

The dialogues, called “Courtyard of the Gentiles” after the part of the ancient Temple in Jerusalem where Jews and non-Jews met, will continue in at least 16 cities in Europe and North America over the next two years.

Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the Vatican’s culture minister, told the opening session on Thursday at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) that the dialogue was meant not to confront believers and atheists but to seek common ground.

Rather it was “an invitation to non-believers … to start a voyage with believers through the desert,” he said.

The meeting was due to continue Friday with sessions at the Sorbonne university and the Institut de France, home of the prestigious Academie Francaise.

Read the full story here.


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The public dialogue with Atheists could benefit from the new publication „The Great Leap-Fraud, Social Economics of Religious Terrorism.“ It is a saga of deceit and fraud under cover of religion through 2300 years of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. In its approach as one piece of the struggle against poverty, it includes all necessary primary evidence how the Israeli-Palestinian conflict unfolds through the eye of history.
Herbert L. Calhoun asks in his review for The Great Leap-Fraud by author A.J. Deus:
“Is this the Historico-religious Trifecta of the Century?
It is my considered opinion that all the Sam Harrises, Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennetts in the world could not have made a more profound statement about why ridding the world of organized religion must remain postmodern man’s most urgent task than the case made here by this author.”
Summaries can be found at

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