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The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue (PCID) is a dicastery of the Roman Curia, erected by Pope Paul VI on 19 May 1964 as the Secretariat for Non-Christians, and renamed by Pope John Paul II on 28 June 1988.
Despite its name, the PCID does not have responsibility for relations with other Christian religions, which are the responsibility of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, which also has oversight of the Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews.
The president of the PCID has been Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot since 25 May 2019.
The PCID is the central office of the Catholic Church for promoting interreligious dialogue in accordance with the spirit of the Second Vatican Council, in particular the declaration Nostra aetate . It has the following responsibilities:
While the Council is responsible for the promotion of inter-religious dialogue, it does not cover Christian-Jewish relations. This is the responsibility of the entirely separate Pontifical Commission of the Holy See for Religious Relations with the Jews, which reports to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and is headed by the Cardinal President of that Pontifical Council, Kurt Koch.
The PCID is the central hub for dialogue in the Catholic Church. However, dialogue is often carried out at the local level by individual churches, many of which are supported by regional or national dialogue commissions. The PCID works closely to support these commissions and encourages their formation in areas where they do not yet exist.
The PCID is restricted to matters of religion and interreligious dialogue. It does not address social or economic issues, which are covered by other departments in the Roman Curia.
The Commission for Religious Relations with Muslims is part of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.The Commission's place within the Council’s structure reflects a degree of independence. The Council's president is ex officio president of the Muslim Commission, but the Commission has its own secretary and its own group of eight consultors.
The PCID undertakes a range of activities that support its work of promoting mutual understanding between Catholicism and other religions. It welcomes visitors to Rome, it visits others, runs meetings and participates in many more. It publishes a bulletin called Pro dialogo three times a year, containing "significant Church texts on dialogue, articles, and news of dialogue activities throughout the world" as well as an Interreligious Dialogue Directory .
The council was created on 19 May 1964 as the Secretariat for Non-Christians by Pope Paul VI with his apostolic letter Progrediente Concilio.It was renamed the Council for Interreligious Dialogue by Pope John Paul II on 12 June 1988.
On 11 March 2006, Pope Benedict XVI altered the status of that Pontifical Council by combining the Council's presidency with that of the Pontifical Council for Culture, then led by Cardinal Paul Poupard, who shared Benedict's skeptical view of interreligious discussions.This organizational change reflected Benedict's view of the nature of dialogue with non-Christians, which he thought could not be theological and needed to focus on shared values, questions not of doctrine but culture. In the tense atmosphere of Catholic-Muslim relations at the time, just months after Benedict’s Regensburg address was met with outraged reactions in the Muslim community, Benedict's organizational move was seen as "downgrading" the significance of Catholic-Muslim relations. After some criticism, Benedict restored the independence of the Pontifical Council distinct from the Council for Culture, separating the presidencies once again and appointing Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue on 25 June 2007, effective 1 September 2007.
The PCID consists of a decision-making body, an advisory body and executive body.
The Members of the Council is the PCID’s decision-making body. Around 30 in number, members include Cardinals and Bishops from around the world. Every two or three years, a Plenary Assembly is convened to discuss important issues and to set guidelines for the work of the Council.
The PCID has an advisory body of around 50 advisors, called Consultors, who provide research, advice and information to the Council. The Consultors are specialists in religious studies or in the practice of inter-religious dialogue, hailing from all corners of the world.
The PCID’s executive body comprises the President, Secretary, Under-Secretary, bureau chief for Islam, staff members for Africa and Asia, a staff member for new religious movements, as well as administrative and support staff.
The Secretary of the PCID since 3 July 2019 has been Fr. Indunil Janakaratne Kodithuwakku Kankanamalage.He was previously Undersecretary for seven years. A Sri Lankan, he has taught at the missiology faculty of the Pontifical Urban University. The Under Secretary is Paulin Batairwa Kubuya, S.X. appointed 11 November 2019; he taught at Fu Jen Catholic University and was executive secretary of the commission for interreligious and ecumenical dialogue of the Regional Episcopal Conference of Taiwan.
Giovanni Lajolo is a Cardinal and former President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and President of the Governatorate of Vatican City State.
Francis Arinze is a Nigerian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He was Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments from 2002 to 2008. He has been the Cardinal Bishop of Velletri-Segni since 2005. Arinze was one of the principal advisors to Pope John Paul II and was considered papabile before the 2005 papal conclave, which elected Pope Benedict XVI.
Crescenzio Sepe is an Italian prelate of the Catholic Church who has been Archbishop of Naples since 2006. He served in the Roman Curia as Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples from 2001 to 2006. He was made a cardinal in 2001. Before that he spent 25 years in increasingly important positions in the Roman Curia.
Jean-Louis Pierre Tauran was a French cardinal of the Catholic Church. When he died, he had been the president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue since 2007 and Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church since the end of 2014. He was made a cardinal in 2003 and was the Cardinal Protodeacon from 2011 to 2014. His earlier career included almost thirty years in the diplomatic service of the Holy See and several years as the Vatican's chief archivist and librarian.
The Congregation for the Oriental Churches is a dicastery of the Roman Curia, and the curial congregation responsible for contact with the Eastern Catholic Churches for the sake of assisting their development and protecting their rights. It also maintains whole and entire in the one Catholic Church, alongside the liturgical, disciplinary, and spiritual patrimony of the Latin Rite, the heritage and Oriental canon law of the various Eastern Catholic traditions. It has exclusive authority over the following regions: Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula, Eritrea and northern Ethiopia, southern Albania and Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Jordan and Turkey, and also oversees jurisdictions based in Romania, Southern Italy, Hungary, India and Ukraine. It was founded by the Motu Proprio Dei Providentis of Pope Benedict XV as the "Sacred Congregation for the Oriental Church" on 1 May 1917 and "considers those matters, whether concerning persons or things, affecting the Catholic Oriental Churches."
Jean-Pierre Ricard is a French prelate of the Catholic Church who was Archbishop of Bordeaux from 2001 to 2019. He has been a cardinal since 2006. He was previously Bishop of Montpellier for five years and before that an auxiliary bishop in Grenoble. From 2001 to 2007 he was president of the French Episcopal Conference.
Michael Louis Fitzgerald is a British cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church and an expert on Christian–Muslim relations. He has had the rank of archbishop since 2002. At his retirement in 2012, he was the papal nuncio to Egypt and delegate to the Arab League. He headed the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue from 2002 to 2006. Pope Francis raised him to the rank of cardinal on 5 October 2019.
Leonardo Sandri is an Argentine Cardinal of the Catholic Church. He has been the Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches since June 2007 and a cardinal since November of that year. He served in the diplomatic service of the Holy See from 1974 to 1991, in several overseas assignments including as permanent observer of the Holy See before the Organization of American States from 1989 to 1991, and in Rome as Substitute for General Affairs in the Secretariat of State from 1999 to 2007. On 24 January 2020, Pope Francis approved his election as Vice Dean of the College of Cardinals.
Mauro Piacenza JCD is an Italian prelate of the Catholic Church. A cardinal since 2010, he has served as Penitentiary Major of the Apostolic Penitentiary since his appointment by Pope Francis on 21 September 2013. He was Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy from 7 October 2010 to 21 September 2013. where he had been Secretary since 2007. At that Congregation, Pope Benedict XVI, according to one report, valued "his efficiency and in-depth knowledge of how the Congregation worked and its problems" and "his traditionalist ecclesiastical line of thought".
Francesco Marco Nicola Monterisi is an Italian cardinal of the Catholic Church, who worked in the diplomatic service of the Holy See from 1964 to 1998 and then held senior positions in the Roman Curia until he retired in 2014.
Kurt Koch is a Swiss prelate of the Catholic Church. He has been a cardinal since November 2010 and President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity since 1 July 2010. He was the bishop of Basel from 1996 until 2010.
Stanisław Marian Ryłko is a Polish Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He held positions in the Roman Curia beginning in 1987 and was president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity from 2003 to 2016. He was made a cardinal in 2007. He has been Archpriest of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore since 28 December 2016.
Gianfranco Ravasi is an Italian prelate of the Catholic Church. A cardinal since 2010, he has been President of the Pontifical Council for Culture since 3 September 2007. He headed Milan's Ambrosian Library from 1989 to 2007.
Giuseppe Bertello is an Italian prelate of the Catholic Church, a cardinal since 2012, who has been the President of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and President of the Governorate of Vatican City State since October 2011. He worked in the diplomatic service of the Holy See from 1971 to 2011, became an archbishop in 1987, held appointments as Nuncio to several countries, including Rwanda, Mexico, and Italy, and was the Holy See's representative to a number of international organizations.
The Commission for Religious Relations with Muslims is a body within the Roman Curia tasked with maintaining positive theological ties with Muslims. It is distinct unit within the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and the President of the Council is also President of the Commission.
Antonio Maria Vegliò is an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, who has served as Vatican diplomat and in the Roman Curia. He was President of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerants. Vegliò was created a Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI on 18 February 2012.
Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya is a Congolese prelate of the Catholic Church. He was the Archbishop of Kinshasa from 2007 to 2018. He became a cardinal in 2010. He is widely recognized as a champion of peace, dialogue and human rights.
Charles Maung Bo is a Burmese Catholic prelate who has served as Archbishop of Yangon since 7 June 2003. He was created a cardinal by Pope Francis in 2015.
Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, MCCJ is a Spanish prelate of the Catholic Church and an historian of Islam. He has been an official of the Roman Curia since 2012 and an archbishop since 2016.
Pier Luigi Celata is an Italian prelate of the Catholic Church who from July 2012 to December 2014 was Vice Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church. He spent much of his career in the diplomatic service of the Holy See. He became an archbishop in 1986 and from 1986 to 2002 was Apostolic Nuncio to several countries.
Il Papa, al fine di favorire un dialogo più intenso fra gli uomini di cultura e gli esponenti delle varie religioni, ha unito per ora la presidenza del Pontificio Consiglio per il Dialogo Interreligioso a quella del Pontificio Consiglio della Cultura...