Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Vatican to launch dialogue with non-believers in March

By Alan Holdren, Rome Correspondent Dialogue between the Vatican, agnostics and atheists will take place in a new arena as of this spring.

The "Courtyard of the Gentiles" project, brainchild of the Pontifical Council for Culture and its president Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, will be officially presented Mar. 24-25 in Paris, France.

Cardinal Ravasi first unveiled his plans for the Paris inauguration of the "Courtyard" last year, but further details were released in a statement from the council on Jan. 25.

The Vatican's culture department plans for it to be "a new permanent Vatican structure to promote dialogue and encounter between believers and non-believers."

The inauguration in Paris will involve a series of events over the two days.

Presentations based on the theme “religion, enlightenment, common reason" will be delivered at the headquarters of UNESCO, the United Nations Educational and Scientific Organization, Sorbonne University and the Institut de France.

A roundtable discussion will be held at the College des Bernardins at their conclusion on March 25. Festivities including music, plays, and a light show will follow outside the Cathedral of Notre Dame.
During the celebration, themed “Into the Courtyard of the Unknown,” the cathedral will be open for prayer and meditation.

As reported in Italy's La Repubblica last May, Cardinal Ravasi explained that the "project" would begin with the broad base of discussing "a comprehensive vision of man."

It will not shy away from themes such as abortion, homosexuality and pedophilia, he said, but these subjects would be addressed during dialogue "in due time."


Pablo the Mexican said...

Why mot invite them to Assisi instead of the Dali Lama and Company?


Anonymous said...

Court of the Gentiles is not soley the 'brain child' of the pontifical counsil.

It's a idea borrowed ffrom Judaism - the court of the Gentiles was the outer court of the Temple. It was a place reserved for non-Jews to pray and be close tothe Temple.

Pope Benedict has twice called for a court of the Gentiles.

Ravasi is responding to Pope Benedict's invitation, or perhaps was asked by Benedict xvi to sort something out.

Still, very exciting to see how it goes.