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The Nonsense of "Interreligious Dialogue"

by Christopher A. Ferrara

A report by Zenit.org on July 12, 2005 demonstrates that the novel practice of "interreligious dialogue" introduced into the Church after the Second Vatican Council produces a lot of nonsense  —  and dangerous nonsense at that.

Zenit reported on an event described as "the Bilateral Commission Meeting of the Delegation of the Holy See's Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel's Delegation for Relations with the Catholic Church" from June 26-28 at the Vatican. During this meeting "deliberations" took place, resulting in the issuance of various "points" on which the Catholic and Jewish interlocutors agreed. These "points" illustrate that "interreligious dialogue" reduces the Catholic party to the dialogue to a collection of vague platitudes that tend to undermine the cause of the Gospel. Consider the following "points":

    "Religious values are crucial for the well-being of the individual and society."

Religious values? Which religious values? Apparently it doesn’t matter, as long as they are religious. Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Animist  —  whatever. We just need "religious values" in society, that’s all. And if these religions contradict the Catholic religion and promote all manner of heresy and immorality? There was no answer to that question, for "interreligious dialogue" is founded on the false principle "all religions are more or less good and praiseworthy"  —  an error condemned as a threat to the foundations of the Catholic Faith by Pope Pius XI in Mortalium Animos.

    "While emphasizing the importance of democracy in this regard, at the same time it is essential to legally protect society from extreme individualism, exploitation by vested interest groups and insensitivity to the cultural and moral values of religious tradition."

Not a word here about protecting society from violations of the eternal and natural law. No, according to these Catholic and Jewish dialoguers, what society must be concerned with is extreme individualism, vested interest groups and moral and cultural insensitivity. Notice how the immorality of abortion, contraception, pornography, divorce, sodomy and other evils and vices is put to the side  —  because, of course, the Jewish party cannot agree with the Catholic party on these matters. So the real issue  —  the protection of society from error and vice  —  is simply ignored.

    "Freedom of religion must be guaranteed to both individuals and communities by the religious and civil authorities."

Freedom of religion for all religions, no matter what they preach, no matter how immoral their doctrines? Apparently so. But this is the very idea condemned by Blessed Pius IX in Quanta Cura, wherein he reprobated "that erroneous opinion, most fatal in its effects on the Catholic Church and the salvation of souls, called by Our Predecessor, Gregory XVI, an ‘insanity,’ viz., that ‘liberty of conscience and worship is each man's personal right, which ought to be legally proclaimed and asserted in every rightly constituted society …"

    "Legislation for the promotion of particular religious values is legitimate when done in harmony with the principles of human rights …"

This is the ultimate in nonsense, as it implies that religious values  —  i.e. the things which rightly pertain to God  —  can only be promoted in "harmony" with the principles of human rights. This is precisely the opposite of the truth, which is this: that the principles of human rights can be promoted only in harmony with religious values, that is, in harmony with the rights of God as enunciated by His Church. As Pope Leo XIII declared in his encyclical Tametsi futura: "About the ‘rights of man’, as they are called, the multitude has heard enough; it is time they should hear of the rights of God."

Here we see to what a wretched condition the Catholic Church is reduced by the practice of "interreligious dialogue," which forces its Catholic practitioners to abandon the moral superiority and absolute uniqueness of the Catholic religion founded by God Incarnate, and to act and speak as if Catholicism were just one of many valid religions. The result is that truth itself is obscured and finally lost in the process. May Our Lady of Fatima deliver Her Church from "interreligious dialogue" and all the other ruinous novelties which have emerged in the Church since 1960  —  the year the Third Secret was supposed to have been revealed to the Church and the world.