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BEING CATHOLIC IN A DIVERSE
WORLD
Honoring the Pluralism of Christ’s Kingdom
A LOOK AT OUR AFTERNOON
 1:00 pm Lunch
 1:45 pm Talk
 2:15 pm Personal prayer and reflection
 2:30 pm Sharing
 3:00 pm Rosary & Benediction
 3:30 pm Departure
FROM SUPPORTIVE CATHOLIC CULTURE TO
RELIGIOUS DISCONNECT
 Catholic identity
reinforced in the
neighbors through
cultural traditions
 Neighborhoods
changed as evidenced
by parish closures
 New immigrants from
Asia, Middle East
 Social networks:
http://www.ourcatholicn
eighborhood.com/
RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS IN MASSACHUSETTS
 As of 2000, there were 3,092,296 Roman
Catholics in Massachusetts, representing
nearly half of the total population.
 The largest Protestant denominations
were: the United Church of Christ, 121,826
adherents;
 the Episcopal Church, 98,963;
 the American Baptists (USA), 52,716,156;
and
 the United Methodist Church, 64,028.
 The 2nd-largest religious affiliation is
Judaism, with about 275,000 adherents in
2000.
 The Muslim population the same year was
about 41,497 people.
 Though membership numbers were not
available, reports noted that there were
about 57 Buddhist congregations and
 20 Hindu congregations throughout the
state.
 About 35% of the population were not
counted as members of any religious
organization.
UPSURGE OF SECULAR CULTURE
 The number of people who identify
themselves as atheists in the United
States has been rising, modestly but
steadily, in recent years. Our
aggregated data from 2012 show that
2.4% of American adults say they are
atheists when asked about their
religious identity, up from 1.6% in
2007.
 Not all atheists see a contradiction
between atheism and spirituality. A
quarter (26%) say they think of
themselves as spiritual people, and
3% consider themselves religious
people. Four-in-ten atheists (41%)
say they often think about the
meaning and purpose of life.
 Atheism gained ground in reaction to
the religious right of the early 1980’s,
aftermath of 9/11, discrimination, and
new popular books articulating the
atheist and humanist concerns.
CATHOLICS IN RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER
FAITHS AND THOSE WITH NO RELIGION
 The first encyclical of Pope
Paul VI in 1964: “The
Church must be in dialogue
with the world.”
 Vatican II: In the Church’s
relationship with non-
Christian religions, she
considers what is in
common and what brings
fellowship. Man is united on
the deepest of questions
from existence of himself, to
that of other things which he
cannot fully comprehend.
 St. John Paul II:
“Helping all the faithful
to respect and to
esteem the values,
traditions and
convictions of other
believers is a
commitment which no
local church is exempt
from duty…”
In Addition to the Church’s
Mission
Constitutive of our Mission
GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES: CATHOLIC
EVANGELIZATION IN THE USA
“Interreligious dialogue
presents an opportunity
to learn about other
religious traditions and to
explain our own. Such
dialogue, however, must
never be a camouflage
for proselytizing. Rather,
it should be approached
with the utmost respect
and sensitivity. “
National Plan of USCCB
2002, #43.
FOUR TYPES OF CATHOLIC DIALOGUE
 The first is the dialogue of life where
believers of different religions bear
witness before each other in daily life to
their own human and spiritual values,
and help each other to live according to
those values in order to build a more just
and fraternal society.
 The second is the dialogue of works
and action where collaboration with
other faiths is opportune in the social,
economic and political to build a more
humane society.
 The third is the dialogue of
theological exchange and often
involves specialists and leaders in
different faith traditions in search for
ultimate truth.
 Finally the dialogue of religious
experience is an opportunity to share
prayer and religious experiences in our
common search for the Absolute.
TWO CHALLENGES FROM POPE FRANCIS
 Our relationship with the followers of Islam
has taken on great importance, since they
are now significantly present in many
traditionally Christian countries, where they
can freely worship and become fully a part of
society. We must never forget that they
“profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and
together with us they adore the one, merciful
God, who will judge humanity on the last
day”. The sacred writings of Islam have
retained some Christian teachings; Jesus
and Mary receive profound veneration and it
is admirable to see how Muslims both young
and old, men and women, make time for
daily prayer and faithfully take part in
religious services. Many of them also have a
deep conviction that their life, in its entirety, is
from God and for God. They also
acknowledge the need to respond to God
with an ethical commitment and with mercy
towards those most in need. Joy of the
Gospel 252
 As believers, we also feel close to those
who do not consider themselves part of
any religious tradition, yet sincerely seek
the truth, goodness and beauty which
we believe have their highest expression
and source in God. We consider them
as precious allies in the commitment to
defending human dignity, in building
peaceful coexistence between peoples
and in protecting creation. A special
place of encounter is offered by new
Areopagi such as the Court of the
Gentiles, where “believers and non-
believers are able to engage in dialogue
about fundamental issues of ethics, art
and science, and about the search for
transcendence”. This too is a path to
peace in our troubled world. 257
Dialogue with Islam
Dialogue with Secular
Culture
COMMON GROUND: CONVERSATIONS AMONG
ATHEISTS, HUMANISTS AND RELIGIOUS BELIEVERS
 The Xaverian Missionaries
organized an international
conference of dialogue
November 2013
 Common Ground meetup
group organized in NJ/NY
area with 33 members.
 We are organizing a
conference at Rutgers
University for the fall 2015.
 We hope to present a panel
presentation at the
Parliament of World
Religions in the fall of 2015
in Salt Lake City.
WHAT WE ARE LEARNING IN DIALOGUE SO FAR
 Dialogue is helping us change our
minds about each other.
 Dialogue is opening up the
possibilities of creating bridges of
hope in a divided world in ways we
never thought of.
 Dialogue is demanding we reflect well
our own tradition and appreciate
much more the powerful contribution
that Vatican II and the post-councilior
work made in the Church and the
world.
 Dialogue is requiring us to think more
deeply about what the Kingdom of
God is and how honoring our plurality
is part of this.
 Dialogue is pushing us to face our
contradictions and the challenges we
are still trying to meet in the mission
of the 21st century.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND SHARING
 In the presentation for today, what surprises you?
What are things that have been confirmed for you?
 Are there favorite scripture passages that help you
see the Lord in the challenges of dialogue across
faith and conviction boundaries?
 What is to be gained by dialogue with other
religious traditions and with secular culture?
 What questions does this pose for you in our
commitment to evangelization and to bring others to
Christ? What does it mean in a world which is so
diverse and pluralistic?
RESOURCES TO GO FURTHER
 Start with the Interfaith Dialogue page of our
website which provides lots of information and
useful resources to learn more of the Catholic
commitment to interfaith dialogue at;
www.xaviermissionaries.org/interfaith-dialogue/
 The Religious Pluralism Project of Harvard
University is a very useful: http://www.pluralism.org/
 YouthLead of Sharon, Massachusetts is a hopeful
interfaith project that is having a big impact with
youth: http://www.youthleadonline.org/
 Reach out to your neighbors and friends who of
different faith traditions and learn more.
Fr. Carl Chudy, SX
12 Helene Court
Wayne, NJ 07470
973.942.2975
provincial@xaviermissionari
es.org

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Being Catholic in a Diverse World: Honoring the Plurality of Christ's Kingdom

  • 1. BEING CATHOLIC IN A DIVERSE WORLD Honoring the Pluralism of Christ’s Kingdom
  • 2. A LOOK AT OUR AFTERNOON  1:00 pm Lunch  1:45 pm Talk  2:15 pm Personal prayer and reflection  2:30 pm Sharing  3:00 pm Rosary & Benediction  3:30 pm Departure
  • 3. FROM SUPPORTIVE CATHOLIC CULTURE TO RELIGIOUS DISCONNECT  Catholic identity reinforced in the neighbors through cultural traditions  Neighborhoods changed as evidenced by parish closures  New immigrants from Asia, Middle East  Social networks: http://www.ourcatholicn eighborhood.com/
  • 4. RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS IN MASSACHUSETTS  As of 2000, there were 3,092,296 Roman Catholics in Massachusetts, representing nearly half of the total population.  The largest Protestant denominations were: the United Church of Christ, 121,826 adherents;  the Episcopal Church, 98,963;  the American Baptists (USA), 52,716,156; and  the United Methodist Church, 64,028.  The 2nd-largest religious affiliation is Judaism, with about 275,000 adherents in 2000.  The Muslim population the same year was about 41,497 people.  Though membership numbers were not available, reports noted that there were about 57 Buddhist congregations and  20 Hindu congregations throughout the state.  About 35% of the population were not counted as members of any religious organization.
  • 5. UPSURGE OF SECULAR CULTURE  The number of people who identify themselves as atheists in the United States has been rising, modestly but steadily, in recent years. Our aggregated data from 2012 show that 2.4% of American adults say they are atheists when asked about their religious identity, up from 1.6% in 2007.  Not all atheists see a contradiction between atheism and spirituality. A quarter (26%) say they think of themselves as spiritual people, and 3% consider themselves religious people. Four-in-ten atheists (41%) say they often think about the meaning and purpose of life.  Atheism gained ground in reaction to the religious right of the early 1980’s, aftermath of 9/11, discrimination, and new popular books articulating the atheist and humanist concerns.
  • 6. CATHOLICS IN RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHER FAITHS AND THOSE WITH NO RELIGION  The first encyclical of Pope Paul VI in 1964: “The Church must be in dialogue with the world.”  Vatican II: In the Church’s relationship with non- Christian religions, she considers what is in common and what brings fellowship. Man is united on the deepest of questions from existence of himself, to that of other things which he cannot fully comprehend.  St. John Paul II: “Helping all the faithful to respect and to esteem the values, traditions and convictions of other believers is a commitment which no local church is exempt from duty…” In Addition to the Church’s Mission Constitutive of our Mission
  • 7. GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES: CATHOLIC EVANGELIZATION IN THE USA “Interreligious dialogue presents an opportunity to learn about other religious traditions and to explain our own. Such dialogue, however, must never be a camouflage for proselytizing. Rather, it should be approached with the utmost respect and sensitivity. “ National Plan of USCCB 2002, #43.
  • 8. FOUR TYPES OF CATHOLIC DIALOGUE  The first is the dialogue of life where believers of different religions bear witness before each other in daily life to their own human and spiritual values, and help each other to live according to those values in order to build a more just and fraternal society.  The second is the dialogue of works and action where collaboration with other faiths is opportune in the social, economic and political to build a more humane society.  The third is the dialogue of theological exchange and often involves specialists and leaders in different faith traditions in search for ultimate truth.  Finally the dialogue of religious experience is an opportunity to share prayer and religious experiences in our common search for the Absolute.
  • 9. TWO CHALLENGES FROM POPE FRANCIS  Our relationship with the followers of Islam has taken on great importance, since they are now significantly present in many traditionally Christian countries, where they can freely worship and become fully a part of society. We must never forget that they “profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, who will judge humanity on the last day”. The sacred writings of Islam have retained some Christian teachings; Jesus and Mary receive profound veneration and it is admirable to see how Muslims both young and old, men and women, make time for daily prayer and faithfully take part in religious services. Many of them also have a deep conviction that their life, in its entirety, is from God and for God. They also acknowledge the need to respond to God with an ethical commitment and with mercy towards those most in need. Joy of the Gospel 252  As believers, we also feel close to those who do not consider themselves part of any religious tradition, yet sincerely seek the truth, goodness and beauty which we believe have their highest expression and source in God. We consider them as precious allies in the commitment to defending human dignity, in building peaceful coexistence between peoples and in protecting creation. A special place of encounter is offered by new Areopagi such as the Court of the Gentiles, where “believers and non- believers are able to engage in dialogue about fundamental issues of ethics, art and science, and about the search for transcendence”. This too is a path to peace in our troubled world. 257 Dialogue with Islam Dialogue with Secular Culture
  • 10. COMMON GROUND: CONVERSATIONS AMONG ATHEISTS, HUMANISTS AND RELIGIOUS BELIEVERS  The Xaverian Missionaries organized an international conference of dialogue November 2013  Common Ground meetup group organized in NJ/NY area with 33 members.  We are organizing a conference at Rutgers University for the fall 2015.  We hope to present a panel presentation at the Parliament of World Religions in the fall of 2015 in Salt Lake City.
  • 11. WHAT WE ARE LEARNING IN DIALOGUE SO FAR  Dialogue is helping us change our minds about each other.  Dialogue is opening up the possibilities of creating bridges of hope in a divided world in ways we never thought of.  Dialogue is demanding we reflect well our own tradition and appreciate much more the powerful contribution that Vatican II and the post-councilior work made in the Church and the world.  Dialogue is requiring us to think more deeply about what the Kingdom of God is and how honoring our plurality is part of this.  Dialogue is pushing us to face our contradictions and the challenges we are still trying to meet in the mission of the 21st century.
  • 12. QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND SHARING  In the presentation for today, what surprises you? What are things that have been confirmed for you?  Are there favorite scripture passages that help you see the Lord in the challenges of dialogue across faith and conviction boundaries?  What is to be gained by dialogue with other religious traditions and with secular culture?  What questions does this pose for you in our commitment to evangelization and to bring others to Christ? What does it mean in a world which is so diverse and pluralistic?
  • 13. RESOURCES TO GO FURTHER  Start with the Interfaith Dialogue page of our website which provides lots of information and useful resources to learn more of the Catholic commitment to interfaith dialogue at; www.xaviermissionaries.org/interfaith-dialogue/  The Religious Pluralism Project of Harvard University is a very useful: http://www.pluralism.org/  YouthLead of Sharon, Massachusetts is a hopeful interfaith project that is having a big impact with youth: http://www.youthleadonline.org/  Reach out to your neighbors and friends who of different faith traditions and learn more. Fr. Carl Chudy, SX 12 Helene Court Wayne, NJ 07470 973.942.2975 provincial@xaviermissionari es.org