Benedict signals that non-Catholic ties are important

The new pope's interfaith outreach
At a meeting that underlined the high priority he may give to dialogue with non-Catholics—both Christians and the faithful of other religions—Pope Benedict XVI met with more than 30 non-Catholic representatives within a week of his election as Pope John Paul II’s successor.

Addressing religious leaders—including Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, who attended his inaugural mass—Benedict said April 25 that it is “imperative to engage in authentic and sincere dialogue built on respect for the dignity of every human person.” The German-born pope also supports efforts to build world peace together.

The emphasis that the new pope has given to ecumenical and interfaith dialogue contrasts sharply with views he expressed when, as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, he served as the Vatican’s guardian of doctrine and was called “God’s Rottweiler” and the “Grand Inquisitor” for his relentless opposition to deviations from orthodoxy.


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