Interfaith Dialogue and Young AdultsPresentation Transcript
The St. Francis Xavier Missionaries, in service to Catholic youth, young adult ministry and campus ministry, would like to present NO BORDERS as resource in the challenges of the 21st Century where US Catholic experiences of youth and young adults are more inter-cultural and inter-religious than ever before, and American Catholic life has broad, global implications in spirituality, morality, culture, politics, and economic outreach. The demands of faith in Christ have no borders, and that mission is driven by a passion for Christ and humanity.
Instead of focusing a dialogue on political or theological differences, we build relationships on the values that we share, such as hospitality and caring for the Earth, devotion to the one God, justice and dignity to peoples, and how we can live out those values together to contribute to the betterment of our community.
Religious pluralism is neither mere coexistence nor forced consensus, but the conviction that people who believe in different creeds can learn to live together with, in the words of Wilfred Cantwell Smith, “mutual trust and mutual loyalty.” It surpasses mere tolerance of diversity and requires that people of different religions affirm their distinct beliefs while making commitments to one another and the world we share. Three components which hold true for a pluralist society are respect for religious identity, mutually inspiring relationships, and common action for the common good.
Young people have always been at the forefront of social change movements. Two great examples of this are Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., who was 26 years old when he led the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and His Holiness the Dalai Llama who was 18 years old when he was forced to lead his government into exile in India and began his campaign for a free Tibet. The rich social inheritance of youth who have changed the world serves to inspire young interfaith leaders today to collaborate to fulfill the goal of building religious pluralism in the world. It was in recognition of the power of youth for social change that inspired a group of religiously diverse young people to found the Interfaith Youth Core.
Missionary activity proper, namely the mission ad gentes , is directed to "peoples or groups who do not yet believe in Christ," "who are far from Christ," in whom the Church "has not yet taken root" and whose culture has not yet been influenced by the Gospel…It can thus be characterized as the work of proclaiming Christ and his Gospel, building up the local Church and promoting the values of the kingdom . “ (Redemptoris Missio 34)
What does it mean to proclaim Christ and the values of the kingdom in one of the most religious diverse nations in the world, the United States? The answer lies when we cross the “faith line” and sharing what can really be shared: kingdom values.
Inter-religious dialogue is a part of the Church's evangelizing mission. Understood as a method and means of mutual knowledge and enrichment, dialogue is not in opposition to the mission ad gentes ; indeed, it has special links with that mission and is one of its expressions. This mission, in fact, is addressed to those who do not know Christ and his Gospel, and who belong for the most part to other religions.
In the light of the economy of salvation, the Church sees no conflict between proclaiming Christ and engaging in interreligious dialogue. Instead, she feels the need to link the two in the context of her mission ad gentes … (Redemptoris Missio #55)
One hundred years ago, the great African-American scholar W.E.B. Du Bois warned that the problem of the 20th century would be what he called “the problem of the color line.” The 21st century might well be dominated by a different line, no less divisive and no less violent: the faith line. The faith line does not divide people of divergent faith traditions, or religious people from secular people. Instead, this line divides religious totalitarians from religious pluralists.
On one side of the line, religious totalitarians believe that their way of life is the only legitimate way; they convert, kill and condemn those who are different. On this side of the line stand all those religious extremists, from the KKK to the radical remnants of the Kach party in Israel, who are willing to act against others who do not fit into their restricted worldview, the all too familiar Al Quaeda. On the other side of the line are religious pluralists like the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, John Paul II, Iboo Patel who believe that peaceful coexistence is possible with the willingness to invest the effort to get to know each other and come together around common goals.
date: 26 October 2007 victim: Arturo Tolentino (64) , farmer and resident of Samal, Bataan
date: 13 October 2007 victim: Antonio Mercado (54) , chairperson of NFSW-FGT
date: 10 October 2007 victim: Alano Clerigo (34) , farmer and supporter for the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) "Philippine Peasant Movement" date: 10 August 2007 victim: Franklin Cabiguin Labial (59) , acting President of Makabayan-Pilipinas Bukidnon chapter
date: 8 August 2007 victim: Rodrigo Siacor (a.k.a. Bador), (39) , member of a political party Anakpawis "Toiling Masses"
"The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day.“