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Evangelization and inter-faith dialogue are compatible, Pope insists

Catholic World News - December 02, 2013

Inter-religious dialogue is increasingly important in a world that has “in some ways, become ‘smaller,’” Pope Francis remarked during a November 28 audience with members of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, who were in Rome for their annual meeting.

Participants in inter-faith talks should never feel inhibited about clearly and respectfully stating their own beliefs, the Pope said. He decried the belief that “coexistence would be possible only by concealing one's own religious identity, encountering one another in a sort of neutral space, without references to the transcendent.”

Citing his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, the Pope said that talks should be characterized by “an attitude of openness in truth and love.” He continued:

Interreligious dialogue and evangelization are not mutually exclusive, but rather nurture each other. We do not impose anything, we use no underhand strategies to attract the faithful, but rather evangelize with the joy and the simplicity in which we believe and which we experience.

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