PONTIFICAL COUNCIL for INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE

To the Participants in the Plenary Assemby
of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue
9 September 2013

2. In this context ... we must ask ourselves: what role should the Church have in terms of the practical means of communication at her disposal? In every situation, beyond technological considerations, I believe that the goal is to understand how to enter into dialogue with the men and women of today, to know how to engage this dialogue in order to appreciate their desires, their doubts and their hopes. They are men and women who sometimes feel let down by a Christianity that to them appears sterile and in difficulty as it tries to communicate the depth of meaning that comes with the gift of faith. We do in fact witness today, in the age of globalization, a growing sense of disorientation and isolation; we see, increasingly, a loss of meaning to life, an inability to connect with a “home” and a struggle to build meaningful relationships. It is therefore important to know how to dialogue and, with discernment, to use modern technologies and social networks in such a way as to reveal a presence that listens, converses and encourages. Allow yourselves, without fear, to be this presence, expressing your Christian identity as you become citizens of this environment. A Church that follows this path learns how to walk with everyone. There is an ancient rule for pilgrims, which Saint Ignatius adopts, and which is why I know it! In one of his rules he says that the person accompanying the pilgrim must walk at his or her pace, not going on ahead or falling behind. In other words, I envisage a Church that knows how to walk with men and women along the path. The pilgrim’s rule will help inspire us.