Ecumenism & Inter-Faith Dialogue
Fr. Savio Angelo S. Sanchez SDB
Secretary for Ecumenical and Inter-Faith Dialogue
Formator, Savio Haus Aspirantate - Bomana
Lecturer, Catholic Theological Institute - Bomana
I. Ecumenical Dialogue
A. Overview: Ecumenical Dialogue is with other Christian groups, following the Vatican’s designation of Christian. Dialogue is guided by Unitatis redintegratio, Ut unum sint, and Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
B. Goals1. To establish friendship with our separated brethren so that we can work together to advance the Gospel in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, to share resources and ideas for addressing contemporary social issues, and to prevent conflicts between us.
2. To popularize the work of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity among the local churches.
3. To learn from each other and to correct misunderstandings through sustained theological dialogues based on approved ecumenical documents.
4. To support the development of indigenous theology through the development of joint statements or academic presentations on theological issues of joint interest.
5. To develop mutual recognitions of each other’s baptismal rites, to develop resources for mixed marriages, and to establish covenants with other churches.
6. To develop resources for the annual celebration of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.
7. To support the work of already existing ecumenical bodies such as the PNG Council of Churches, the Church Partnership Program, and the Melanesian Association of Theological Schools.
8. To reunite the Body as Christ insofar as practically possible, especially by joining in prayer and worship.
C. Current Dialogues
1.Muslim - Statement against religiously motivated violence achieved
2. PNG Interfaith Forum
II. Inter-faith Dialogue
A. Overview: Interfaith Dialogue is with other religious groups that are not recognized as part of the Body of Christ by the Vatican. Dialogue is guided by Nostra aetate, Dignitatis humanae, and the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue.
1. To establish friendship with other religious groups in PNG/SI, to share resources and ideas for addressing contemporary social issues, and to prevent conflicts between us.
2. To popularize the work of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue among the local religious groups, especially the document Education for Peace in a Multi-Religious World - A Christian Perspective(2019).
3. To learn from each other and to correct misunderstandings and the fear that comes through ignorance through sustained dialogue based on our holy books and the visiting of each other’s places of worship.
4. To promote religious freedom, especially the right to convert from one’s religion to another, among both Christians and non-Christians.
5. To develop resources for the study of comparative religion.
6. To defend and witness the Gospel in our interactions with non-Christians.
7. To find areas of common agreement, especially regarding ethical and political issues.
8. To support any inter-faith dialogue initiatives that may arise.
C. Current Dialogues
1. Anglican – Statements on Baptism, Marriage, and Covenant achieved.
2. Lutheran – Statements on Baptism and Marriage achieved.
2021 Prayers for Christian Unity