Pope Francis and Inter-Religious Dialogue:
Reflections on Fratelli Tutti
At the close of last night's engaging panel and group discussion, Christian Krokus promised to make available to everyone the panelists' questions and also the group breakout questions/comments to everyone. We invite all of last night's attendees and the membership to continue the conversation in this post's comment section. (Login with member # and email address to comment.)
The Board of Director's extends a huge thank you to Christian Krokus for moderating the event and to panelists Stephanie Wong, James Frederick and Rita George Tvrtković for their insightful contributions and engagement. In addition, thank you to the CTSA the Ad hoc Board Committee on Virtual Events Meghan Clark (chair), Craig Ford, and Elyse Raby for developing this amazing event.
Questions / Comments from last night's fruitful virtual event:
Stephanie Wong's Question to Attendees:
- What are the wounds, or problems, that generate the conflicts described in Fratelli Tutti, and how is fraternity a salve for those wounds?
James Frederick's Question to Attendees:
- How are we professional theologians to receive the challenge of Francis' shift away from the dialogues of theological exchange and religious experience and toward a dialogue of social concern?
Rita George Tvrtković's Question to Attendees:
- Fraternity vs friendship: what are the benefits and/or problems of using these two concepts to shape Catholic approaches to IR relationships?
Group Breakout Questions / Comments:
- We have been talking about kinship, friendship, fraternity which suggests closeness is good. But at the same time we also think that it is good to preserve otherness. So how to combine these two ideas?
- What help do you think Francis needs to get us to take Fratelli Tutti forward & move past its limitations on engaging non-monotheistic religions?
- How might one define the common good in the light of impossible conflicts such as that between the different Orthodox churches regarding the war in Ukraine?
- With the growing need for robust Catholic inter-religiosity, what ways do the speakers see the incorporation of these skills for interreligious dialogue in our Catholic education system?
- Has Francis moved away from the fulfillment framework and is moving towards pluralism or is he presenting a new Christian theology of religion beyond exclusivism, inclusivism, and pluralism?
- How can we reconcile the lust for power with our shared humanity, our shared goals with the pressing need to build bridges across faith traditions?
- How is the relation between Catholic Social Teaching (CST) and interreligious dialogue (IRD) to be understood? Is it more formal, that is, does IRD provide a model for how to do CST in a pluralist society? Or is it substantive, that IRD has to be an integral part of CST, how we approach human dignity, the common good, etc.?
- An important note about difference and inter-religious relationships from Nostra Aetate: “The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. She regards with sincere reverence those ways of conduct and of life, those precepts and teachings which, though differing in many aspects from the ones she holds and sets forth, nonetheless often reflect a ray of that Truth which enlightens all…”
- Would you go so far as to say the teaching of Fratelli Tuttti is “development of doctrine,” or more a shift in emphasis from the approach of his predecessors?
- Does this praxis of Pope Francis call for a new articulation of a theology of religions, rather than an abandonment of theology of religions as such?