The interreligious gathering with Pope Benedict XVI on April 17, 2008, was entitled “Peace Our Hope” in parallel with the overall title of the Papal Visit to the United States: “Christ Our Hope”. The coincidence between the words “Peace” and “Christ” should not be seen as accidental: the Holy Father’s words reminded all present, Christians and non-Christians, that Jesus of Nazareth “is the eternal Logos who became flesh in order to reconcile man to God and reveal the underlying reason of all things.”
Experience in dialogue has shown us that the highest motivation for our dialogue weakens when we weaken the fundamental convictions of Christian faith. When Christ is known as the Logos, the Word of God, the one “through whom all things were made”, then our efforts at mutual understanding have a real basis in Christian faith. When we have an “ardent desire” to follow and serve Christ, we will quickly discover the sound of his voice in the truths that others have discovered such as compassion, forgiveness, self-sacrifice, intellectual rigor, meditative discipline and moral self-examination. These are resonances of the voice of the Logos. There is indeed, “an unknown Christ” already present in what is good and true in other world religions; the Christian’s love for Christ impels him or her to seek out that “unknown One” wherever he may be found.
Father Francis V. Tiso, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops