Ecumenical & Interreligious Affairs Commission
The Second Vatican Council has placed Christian Unity and Interreligious Dialogue as priorities for both the universal and local Church. “Ecumenism” refers to all who bear the name Christian working together for unity, or to achieve what is called “full communion.” All Christians must recall that the night before Jesus died he prayed that “all his disciples may be one” as a testimony that He is the Savior of the World (Jn. 17).
“The restoration of unity among all Christians was one of the main concerns of the Second Vatican Council. The division among Christians openly contradicts the will of Christ, scandalizes the world and damages the holy cause of preaching the Gospel to every creature.” (Decree on Ecumenism, I).
“Interreligious Affairs” refers to our relations with all religious traditions, other than Christians. “Interreligious dialogue does not merely aim at mutual understanding and friendly relations. It reaches a much deeper level, that of the spirit, where exchange and sharing consist in a mutual witness to one’s belief and a common exploration of one’s respective religious convictions.” (Dialogue and Proclamation, 40).
The Diocesan Office for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs serves as a resource to the Bishop, the offices of the Pastoral Center, and the parishes throughout the Diocese of Orange to promote Christian unity, and to foster understanding, dialogue and friendship with members of non-Christian religions. WE OFFER guidance, speakers for panels, parish presentations, and representatives for ecumenical and interfaith events and celebrations.
Rev. Edward Becker, Episcopal Vicar
Michelle O’Donoghue, Administrative Assistant