The Holy see is working on a new set of pastoral guidelines for interreligious dialogue, according to Vatican Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran.
Catholic News Service reports the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue began pulling together elements for the guidelines at its plenary session in Rome, said Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, council president.
"After many years of hesitation about the suitability of such a document, the time has arrived to offer pastors and the faithful some general orientations, which obviously will have to be adapted to local situations," Cardinal Tauran said in an opening address to the council's plenary meeting June 4.
The cardinal said the guidelines would be inspired in part by the Ten Commandments, which remain universal principles in a believer's relationship with God and with neighbours.
Cardinal Tauran offered no timeline for the new document, but said the council's meeting should provide ample material for its preparation.
In 1991, the interreligious council published dialogue guidelines under the title "Dialogue and Proclamation."
The document called for a balance between dialogue and evangelisation and said proclaiming Christ must be done with sensitivity, humility and respect for other cultures.
Pope Benedict XVI named Cardinal Tauran to head the council last year.
In his opening address, the cardinal said the Church must help Catholics understand that all believers share a common patrimony of values, including belief in God, the sacredness of life, the need for brotherhood, the experience of prayer and the language of religion.
For their part, he said, Christians need to proclaim openly that Christ is the way, the truth and the life.
"We cannot put this under the bushel basket," he said.
Christians should be "prepared to share their spiritual convictions and to consider those of others," he said.
Vatican working on interreligious dialogue guidelines, official says (Catholic News Service, 5/6/08)
LINKSPontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue