The History of the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue

Always a part of the Christian approach, and exemplified by saints such as Francis of Assisi, interreligious dialogue entered a new era in the 1960s. As the Catholic Church went through profound changes at the time of the Second Vatican Council, a new, official way of dialogue was opened up between the Church and followers of other religions. It is expressed in the ground-breaking document Nostra Aetate (In our Age). 

In 1964, Pope Saint Paul VI established the Secretariat for non-Christians, which would later be called the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and then the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue. In the succeeding years the Dicastery has served the Church and her mission of dialogue. In particular, the Holy Fathers have given guidance and direction for the initiatives of this Dicastery.