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Pontifical council implements Pope’s call for ‘Court of the Gentiles’

October 28, 2010

In his 2009 year-end address to the Roman Curia, Pope Benedict reflected on the role of the ‘Court of the Gentiles’ at the temple in Jerusalem: it was “a free space for the Gentiles who wished to pray there to the one God, even if they could not take part in the mystery for whose service the inner part of the Temple was reserved.” He added:

I think that today too the Church should open a sort of "Court of the Gentiles" in which people might in some way latch on to God, without knowing him and before gaining access to his mystery, at whose service the inner life of the Church stands. Today, in addition to interreligious dialogue, there should be a dialogue with those to whom religion is something foreign, to whom God is unknown and who nevertheless do not want to be left merely Godless, but rather to draw near to him, albeit as the Unknown.

In an interview with Vatican Radio, Msgr. Peter Fleetwood discussed how the Pontifical Council for Culture is implementing the Pope’s call for a ‘Court of the Gentiles’: debates, meetings, and dramas are planned, beginning with meetings in Paris at the Sorbonne and UNESCO.


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