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Seton Hall University

Catholic Identity, Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue  

Rev. Msgr. John Radano, Ph.D.Rev. Msgr. John A. Radano, Ph.D., presented a workshop on Saturday, March 8, 2014 to the permanent deacon candidates and their wives of the Diocese of Paterson.

Rev. Msgr. John A. Radano, Ph.D., is an Adjunct Professor of Systematic Theology and served on the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU) in Rome from 1984-2008. In 1985, Pope John Paul II appointed him as head of that Pontifical Council's Western Section.

Msgr. Radano presented a workshop on the topic of Catholic Identity, Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue for the Diocese of Paterson permanent diaconate candidates and their wives at St. Paul Inside the Walls, Madison on Saturday March 8, 2014. This topic is an important component for the basic standards for readiness for ordination according to the National Directory for the Formation, Ministry, and Life of Permanent Deacons in the United States. Permanent Deacons, as part of their ministry, must be able to develop relationships and identify with other denominations and religious traditions while articulating and retaining their own Roman Catholic identity.

Msgr. Radano explained that Unity is one of the marks of the Church ("One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic"). But, there have been major divisions among Christians over the centuries, bringing disunity among them. After the Council of Chalcedon in 451, some separated from the rest of the Church because they could not accept certain Christological formulations of that Council. In 1054 there was a schism between the Eastern and Western Churches, and in the sixteenth century the Protestant Reformation emerged in the western Church, resulting in serious divisions. After centuries of separation, the realization became clear that such division was a scandal to the Gospel of Christ, and thus, in the early twentieth century the ecumenical movement, the movement seeking Christian unity was born. Various movements of cooperation developed, leading in 1948 to the creation of the World Council of Churches involving Protestant, Anglican and Orthodox churches. Since the Vatican II Council (1962-1965), the Catholic Church has been deeply committed to the Ecumenical movement, promoting unity through dialogue and better relations with other Christians. Important agreements have been published, fostering agreements which help to resolve some of the major theological conflicts of the past, but dialogue has to continue.

In the second session of the workshop, Msgr. Radano highlighted new directions for Interreligious Dialogue, specifically in Catholic-Jewish relations and Catholic-Muslim relations, especially as seen in the Vatican II's 1965 document Nostra Aetate, the Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions. The document stressed the importance of this dialogue and respect for other religions, but also emphasized that "the Church is in duty bound to proclaim without fail, Christ, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, in whom all people find their fulfillment." 

The next pastoral formation program will be a presentation wrapping up the Top Ten Classical Catholic Books Deacons Should Know, Part II by Dr. Gregory Glazov. D.Phil., Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies, on Saturday, April 12, 2014.

Edited by Rev. Msgr. John A. Radano, Ph.D.

Categories: Faith and Service

For more information, please contact:

  • Kimberly Mailley
  • (973) 951-1631
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