Movement for Interfaith Enhancement


St Francis Xavier Parish, Petaling Jaya

The Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) saw the theme of interreligious dialogue appearing for the very first time in the history of the Church. Inspired by this momentous event, the bishops of Asia, when they met for the very first time at the Asian Meeting of Bishops, reminded all Catholics in Asia that "dialogue with our fellow Asians whose commitment is to other faiths is increasingly important" (Manila, 1970). Four years later, at the first Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences, the bishops stressed that the Church in Asia has to be in "continuous, humble and loving dialogue" (Taipei, 1974) with the great religions of Asia.

Following up on these attitudes, the Church in Malaysia, at the Retreat Aggiornamento of 1976, affirmed that interreligious dialogue is one of the primary needs for all Catholics in Malaysia. This position was reiterated at the First Peninsular Malaysia Pastoral Convention (PMPC I) of 1986 and further reemphasised at the Second Peninsular Malaysia Pastoral Convention (PMPC II) of 1996. Furthermore, at the Special Assembly of Synod of Bishops for Asia, which was held in Rome in May 1998, the interreligious agenda was no doubt the most talked-about issue and the bishops of Asia again called on all Catholics in Asia to engage in dialogue with their brothers and sisters of other religions.

As a response to this call, MIE of the parish of St Francis Xavier, Petaling Jaya, has embarked on a process to encourage at grassroots levels an awareness and appreciation for the religions of the world.

MIE believes that a universal human consciousness is slowly coming to birth and the call for interreligious dialogue is a positive step in that direction. MIE also believes that barriers and conflicts between religious communities can no longer be justified as the worldwide longing for peace and understanding has become more and more evident.

It is hoped that the programs offered through MIE will help us all to learn from our brothers and sisters of the other great religions of Asia and will enrich us spiritually and also teach us how to work more effectively with our brothers and sisters of other faiths as we all journey together on our common task of total human development.

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