The course for ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue in Istanbul


From 12th to 28th October 2017, the on-going formation course on inter-religious and ecumenical dialogue was held for friars coming from diverse entities in the Order: from Italy, France, Albania, Congo (Brazzaville), Malta and Morocco.

The course was marked by five particularly significant moments:

  • Exchange on inter-religious and ecumenical dialogue: starting from Biblical and anthropological fundamentals of dialogue and its realization in the Franciscan Sources and coming to the challenges of dialogue in the Church in general and in the Franciscan Order in particular.
  • Pilgrimage in the footsteps of St. Paul and several Church Fathers.
  • Celebration of the five hundredth recurrence of the Reform of Luther: a mini symposium was organized to reflect upon the origins and factors behind the Reform of Luther; upon the challenges which we face from the Reform; and on the journey undertaken by Catholics and Reform Churches in the context of bilateral and multilateral dialogues. The day finished with an evening of prayer in the Taizé style.
  • Meeting with the Patriarch Bartholomew I: on the morning of 24th October the participants of the course attended a private audience with the Patriarch. The latter encouraged the participants of the course to involve themselves in dialogue with the aim of reconciling people, religions and cultures. The Patriarch emphasized the fact the present Pope has chosen the name of the “Poor Little Man”, Francis, and we as Franciscans have a great challenge to measure up to.
  • A prayer in the spirit of Assisi: in memory of the meeting of Pope John Paul II in Assisi with the religious leaders, a prayer is organized each year by the Franciscan friars and the dancing Dervishes.

The international fraternity of Turkey thanks all the participants, speakers and all collaborators who made this course possible.