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Please visit our partners, the Catholic Association of Ecumenical and Interreligious Officers (CADEIO), a professional network of diocesan officers and associates who work with our office to support our mission, implementing and promoting dialogue across the nation.
On July 1, 2019, His Holiness Pope Francis appointed the Most Rev. Edward B. Scharfenberger, Bishop of Albany and consultant to the Bishop's Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, consultant to the Holy See's Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews.
The Diocese of Albany has released a statement.
Originally from Brooklyn, NY, Bishop Scharfenberger was ordained to the priesthood in 1973. He was ordained to the episcopacy and installed as bishop in the Diocese of Albany in 2014.
The Holy See's Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews was established in 1974 by Pope Paul VI. It is responsible for two standing dialogues between the the Holy See and the international Jewish community: the International Liaison Committee and the dialogue with the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. It has also produced several documents directing reflection on Jewish-Catholic relations.
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, celebrated annually January 18-25, is an opportunity for Christians worldwide to join together in prayer for visible Christian unity, "that they all may be one." (cf. John 17:21) The theme for 2020, prepared by a group of Christians from Malta, is "They Showed Us Unusual Kindness" (cf. Acts 28:2). Please stay tuned for more information.
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 pastoral, academic, and historical resources of the work of the Secretariat and the Committee. BCEIA has an expansive mandate to foster relationships with our sisters and brothers in Christ, as well as other people of faith from the various major religious traditions. 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 past fifty years, as well as provide resources for various types of dialogue that you can use in your parish and family. | MORE
"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."
- Pope Francis, Address to the U.S. Bishops, September 23, 2015
"I cannot ever tire of encouraging you to dialogue fearlessly." - Pope Francis
“Dialogue” first entered the Church’s vocabulary as the method of approaching the modern world Pope Saint Paul VI promoted. This illustrates the spirit of the Second Vatican Council, which produced Unitatis Redintegratio and Nostra Aetate, the foundational documents that guide the Church’s relations with other Christian bodies and religious communities. Thus, the Church committed itself irrevocably to building fruitful relationships with others: fostering bonds of friendship, mutual understanding, and constructive collaboration.
The bishops of the United States established the Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs (BCEIA) as part of this endeavor. It sponsors a number of dialogues with other Christian communities and members of other religions in the United States or North America. In most cases, these dialogues parallel those that the Holy See sponsors at the universal level.
Each dialogue has its own scope, method, and aim. We invite you to use this website as a resource in exploring the complexities of the Church’s dialogues in the United States. Here, you will find pastoral, academic, and historical resources to help all grow in understanding and appreciation.
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