Participants at a recent interfaith conference in the nation's capital discussed how interreligious dialogue can play an important role in establishing peace and fighting secularization in America.
Dialogue between faiths “can serve our nation and the world in ways that professional diplomats cannot,” said Auxiliary Bishop Barry C. Knestout of Washington, D.C., who delivered the keynote address at the event. He explained that a shared “commitment to an authentic and robust dialogue will foster understanding and peaceful coexistence.”
Held Nov. 10 at St. Paul’s College in Washington, D.C., the day-long “Generations of Faith” conference was the second of its kind sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. It included talks, personal testimonies, discussion groups and prayers from different faith traditions.
The event drew young adults and leaders of the Catholic, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh traditions. Highlighting the need for dialogue among U.S. faith communities, participants discussed how to foster cooperation and understanding among members of different religions.
Bishop Knestout, who co-chairs the Mid-Atlantic Catholic-Muslim Dialogue, explained that the young people of today must be open to respectful conversation with others. Ecumenical dialogue is a response to Christ’s call to proclaim the truth to others while recognizing that other religious traditions contain some expressions of truth as well, he explained.