Dialogue to bring Christ to all


Dialogue is perhaps, the most Christian way of bringing Christ to all the peoples, especially the culturally diverse peoples in Asia.

In a paper by James H. Kroeger, M.M. entitled An Asian Dialogue Decalogue, he mentioned ten principles of dialogue which he gathered from the many papers of the Church, particularly that of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC).

The ten are as follows: 1) To facilitate interfaith dialogue, know well the context of Asia, especially religious realities; 2) Appreciate the FABC vision of integral, holistic evangelization; 3) Acknowledge that inter-religious dialogue is a key dimension of holistic, integral evangelization; 4) Discover God’s saving design that is at work in the Asian reality; 5) Understand the Asian Church’s commitment to missionary evangelization, including the announcement of the person and promises of Christ; 6) Adopt positive attitudes that foster dialogue in practice; 7) Appreciate the specific FABC-fostered attitudes toward Asia’s venerable religions; 8) Develop a genuine “spirituality of dialogue;” 9) Believe that dialogue serves the growth of a new humanity and the kingdom; and 10) Concretize a clear commitment to dialogue by establishing ministries and services within the local church that focus on this priority.

These principles, however, if we would take a closer look at it, are basically is anchored on the sixth principle, and that is to "adopt positive attitudes that foster dialogue in practice."

Truly, in a church whose history is mired by conflicts brought about by the feeling of superiority and fueled by greed and ambition, it is difficult to encourage one to let go and to allow oneself to realize his/her inadequacies and incompleteness, so much more to realize that other faiths may just give some answers or clues, at least, in order to achieve this completeness. Well, for an entity who feels to be far more superior to others, this seems unthinkable.

But that is exactly what Christ showed us, and as Kroeger quoted Faith Encounters in Social Action (FEISA), "Only an ego-emptying, and consequently powerless, Christian community has the credibility to proclaim the folly of the message of the cross."

For this, my commitment is to strive for kenosis in order to discover the seeds of the Word through an attitude of humility, openness, and receptivity. But how can I do this without losing my Catholic Christian identity?

Speech bubble photo from the net.


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