Last Updated By Bill's Bible Basics :
February 16, 2017
By BARRY HATTON Associated Press Writer
September 24, 2000
LISBON, Portugal (AP) _ Vatican officials sought to mend relations with other religions at an international ecumenical meeting here Sunday after straining their ties with claims of the primacy of the Roman Catholic church.
Cardinal Edward Cassidy, who heads the Vatican office for relations with other religions, said a declaration by the Vatican earlier this month of the Roman Catholic church's primacy over other Christian denominations had caused "a little bit of tension."
The Vatican declaration said followers of other religions were in a "gravely deficient situation" regarding salvation.
Some saw the document as contradicting efforts by Pope John Paul II throughout his papacy to reach out to non-Catholics, and two rabbis dropped out of a meeting with Christians planned for next month to protest the Vatican's declaration.
Cassidy said he would seek to reassure the representatives of other religions at the three-day Lisbon meeting that the Vatican remained committed to improving relations with non-Catholics.
"We are not going back on our commitment to inter-religious dialogue," Cassidy told The Associated Press following a service at Lisbon's 16th-century Jeronimos church.
"Of course, we are not going to abandon our doctrine ... but we are still trying to promote dialogue with other religions," he said.
He said the fact that some Jews are present at the 13th International Meeting of Peoples and Religions, which is being attended by 10 religious denominations, was "a sign that some of the tensions are over."
"Time will pass and we'll get back to what we had achieved," he said.
The leader of the Jewish community in Portugal, Joshuah Ruah, said he wanted the meeting to address directly the Vatican declaration, though none of the scheduled discussions referred specifically to the dispute.
"Above all, the meeting must clarify and refute the (Vatican) declaration," Ruah was quoted as saying in Sunday's edition of daily Diario de Noticias.
The annual meeting is organized by the Community of Sant'Egidio