Catholic-atheist meetings end with Pope Benedict appeal to youth

March 26, 2011
(Catholic-atheist meeting in the Grand Amphitheatre of the Sorbonne, Paris 25 March 2011/Tom Heneghan)

(Catholic-atheist meeting in the Grand Amphitheatre of the Sorbonne, Paris 25 March 2011/Tom Heneghan)

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.

Catholics & Jews discuss their future dialogue, possible Muslim trialogue

March 2, 2011
bernardins

(Collège des Bernardins, site of the ILC meeting in Paris, 2 March 2011/Tom Heneghan)

Extend Catholic-Jewish amity to Islam, Jewish official tells dialogue meeting

February 28, 2011
coexist

(An art exhibition poster reading "coexist" using the Islamic crescent, Jewish David Star and Christian cross, in Jerusalem, May 13, 2001 /Reinhard Krause)

Timeline – Ups and downs in recent Catholic-Jewish relations

By Reuters Staff
February 28, 2011

Senior officials from the Roman Catholic Church and international Jewish groups met on Monday in Paris to review relations after 40 years of sometimes difficult dialogue.

Russian Orthodox Church’s Kirill on ecumenism, via Wikileaks

December 2, 2010

kirillSome interesting comments on Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, back in April 2008 when he was still Metropolitan Kirill, in a cable from the U.S. embassy in Moscow published by Wikileaks:

Why did the U.N. proclaim World Interfaith Harmony Week?

October 22, 2010

unga 1 (Photo: United Nations General Assembly hall, 23 Nov 2006/Jérôme Blum)

The United Nations General Assembly passes a stack of resolutions every year and many of them go all but unnoticed.  One such document just approved in New York established a new World Interfaith Harmony Week. High-minded resolutions put most news junkies to sleep, so it’s probably no surprise this one got such scant media coverage (see here and here). But there’s more to this one than meets the glazed-over eye.

Excerpts from pope speech at London interfaith meeting

By Reuters Staff
September 17, 2010

pope and rabbi (Photo: Pope Benedict and Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, September 17, 2010/Toby Melville)

Pope Benedict met leaders of non-Christian faiths in London on Friday and stressed the need for dialogue among religions to foster peace. Britain’s Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks and Khaled Azzam, director of the Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, also spoke.

Russian Orthodox and Polish Catholic churches eye major reconciliation

June 25, 2010

krakowRussia’s Orthodox Church and Poland’s Roman Catholic Church have pledged to help their nations overcome a painful shared past and move towards reconciliation.  The two churches, very influential in their own countries, agreed at a rare meeting of senior clergy to draw up a joint document that will express their Christian vision of how the two Slavic neighbours can come together.

Serbian church leader breaks with past, invites pope to Belgrade

January 29, 2010
irinej

Patriarch Irinej at a news conference in Belgrade, 28 Jan 2010/Ivan MIlutinovic

For all of Irinej Gavrilovic’s 80 years, his Serbian Orthodox Church has kept its distance from the Vatican and the pope, maintaining a division whose roots date back a millennium.  But only a few days into the job as the 45th Serbian Orthodox Patriarch, Irinej has several times repeated an invitation to the Roman Catholic pontiff, hoping that both men could celebrate a significant anniversary in 2013.