The Culture of Encounter: An imperative for a divided world was a conference in Rome, May 27-28, 2022 where Fr Arturo Sosa delivered one of two keynote addresses.
In his speech, Encounter as a Dimension of Cultures and a Path to Peace Fr Sosa spoke about intercultural encounter and how too often it takes place amidst conflicts of all kinds. However, intercultural encounter is a path toward justice and peace, it is a complex process of reconciliation among human beings, and its culmination is forgiveness, without which peace lacks a solid foundation.
The other keynote speaker was Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Vatican secretary for relations with states who spoke about The Culture of Encounter and Global Governance: “From the beginning of his papacy, the Holy Father has encouraged us to see dialogue as the principal method for bringing the Gospel message of peace into our daily lives and into international relationships. The very word ‘encounter’ points to the interplay of diplomacy, global governance and the search for peace.”
The arrest, inhumane treatment and death in custody of Father Stan Swamy at the hands of Indian authorities reveals how vulnerable a believer is to forces for whom fairness, justice, peace, and civility mean less. How does a believer, whose faith life is based on justice, peace and fraternity face such tyranny? Fr Joseph Lobo ponders this in To Believe is to be Vulnerable: The ‘disadvantages’ to being a believer.
The late Bruno Latour, philosopher, sociologist, anthropologist, was professor emeritus at Sciences Po University, Paris. Translated into about thirty languages, he is still one of the most widely read contemporary French-speaking author in the world. His work on the climate crisis has made him a global figure on the ecological issue.
Fr Antonio Spadaro’s interview opens with a discussion about the prophetic character of Laudato si’, how it assumed importance in Latour’s research activity and its impact on relationships between materiality, spirituality and politics. Indeed, everything that calls into question the change of the notions of “world” and “nature” for the benefit of the Earth.
Some encounters are forced on people. Today, many Central Americans leave their home in search of peace and security, driven out by gang violence, political upheaval, natural disaster and lack of opportunity. They head north in search of the “American Dream”
The significance, on a theological level, of Pope Francis’ trip to Iraq in March 2021 emerges clearly only when placed in the larger theological, historical and chronological context, in particular Holy Father’s trips to Jerusalem in 2014, nSarajevo in 2015, Baku in 2015, Cairo in 2017 and Abu Dhanbi in 2019 Fr Felix Körner explains in Pope Francis Speaks With Muslims: The trip to Iraq in context