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From Our Chairman's Desk


Dear Friends:

Welcome to the website of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs (SEIA), office for the Bishops Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs (BCEIA). The website contains important academic and pastoral resources. BCEIA has a broad mandate to build relationships with our fellow Christians and with representatives of other major religious traditions.

I want to affirm to you the importance of building relationship—which Pope Francis calls a culture of encounter. During this moment in history, fear and terror are used to undermine the value of faith and faith communities. I am convinced that we must invest time, energy, and resources in getting to know and trust one another. On this foundation, we can engage in fruitful dialogue.

During Pope Francis' Apostolic Journey to the United States, he had a meeting with the American bishops at St. Matthew's Cathedral in Washington, DC. In his speech he ruminated on the necessity of engaging the other:

Dialogue is our method, not as a shrewd strategy but out of fidelity to the One who never wearies of visiting the marketplace, even at the eleventh hour, to propose his offer of love (Mt 20:1-16). The path ahead, then, is dialogue among yourselves, dialogue in your presbyterates, dialogue with lay persons, dialogue with families, dialogue with society. I cannot ever tire of encouraging you to dialogue fearlessly.

This encouragement directed at the bishops, I now share with you. Dialogue is the way forward for peace, justice, and friendship. I, too, cannot ever tire of encouraging you to dialogue fearlessly!

The results of BCEIA dialogues and conversations are available on the SEIA webpages. They will inform you of the important progress of our work over the last several decades, as well as provide resources for various types of dialogue that you can use in your parish and family.

I pray that you, too, will respond to Pope Francis' call to a culture of encounter!

Yours in Christ,

Most Rev. Mitchell T. Rozanski

Chairman, Bishops' Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs

Bishop of Springfield, Mass.

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