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The special council for the Synod of Bishops for America met in Rome last week, for discussions that centered on relations with other religions.
A note released by the Synod of Bishops after the deliberations pointed out that Ecclesia in America, the apostolic exhortation that followed the discussions of the Synod for the Americas, set criteria for evaluating non-Christian religions. Those criteria, following the lead of the Vatican II document Nostra Aetate, stipulated that “the Catholic Church, while affirming the specific originality of Christianity, does not reject anything that is true and holy in non-Christian religions.”
Regarding native religions, the Vatican note said, “the Catholic Church seeks to discover elements which are compatible with the Gospel, to purify them and integrate them appropriately into the life of local ecclesial communities.”
Dealing with religious sects poses a substantial challenge for the Church, the Synod noted, because “through energetic proselytization they spread rapidly in the big cities and wherever the Church’s presence is weak.”