Dicastery holds first meeting to develop Guidelines for Confucian-Catholic Dialogue

By DID Staff

19 January 2024

On 15 January, the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue convened a study group to assist in the task of producing principles and guidelines, particularly for Catholics, about dialoguing with followers of Confucianism or those influenced by the Confucian philosophy and worldview.

This first meeting of the study group was preceded by much preparation, especially by Professor Umberto Bresciani, of Fu Jen Catholic University in Taiwan, who prepared a working document from which the team will develop the Guidelines.

The study group is composed of scholars and practioners of interreligious dialogue who live in, or have roots in: Australia, China – Taiwan, China, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, South Korea, the United States of America, and Vietnam.

Msgr. Indunil Kodithwakuu K., Secretary of the Dicastery, opened the meeting by quoting from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians: “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow” (1 Cor 3:6). He noted that this study group builds on the tradition of the Dicastery, which developed guidelines for dialogue with Buddhists, Hindus, and Traditional Religionists in its initial years. Now, there is a new need, he explained, as we embark on our first official dialogue with Confucians. While we work to build on the “seed” that has been planted, we always keep in mind that it is God who gives the growth.

The group engaged in a fruitful discussion about clarifying the intended audience, goals and content of the expected Guidelines. They will continue their deliberations online and in person.