Pope Benedict, a while back, called the Church to make a “space” for unbelievers, for questioners, for seekers, following the Old Testament literal space in the Temple area, the Outer Court, called “the Court of the Gentiles.” He calls us to a dialogue with the world, with “the Gentiles” so to speak, so that through such genuine and sincere encounter we might be witnesses to the saving Truth that all men must seek. He wrote:
Dear young people, it is up to you, in your own countries and in Europe as a whole, to help believers and non-believers to rediscover the path of dialogue. Religions have nothing to fear from a just secularity, one that is open and allows individuals to live in accordance with what they believe in their own consciences. If we are to build a world of liberty, equality and fraternity, then believers and non-believers must feel free to be just that, equal in their right to live as individuals and in community in accord with their convictions; and fraternal in their relations with one another. One of the reasons for this Court of the Gentiles is to encourage such feelings of fraternity, over and above our individual convictions yet not denying our differences. And on an even deeper level, to recognize that God alone, in Christ, grants us inner freedom and the possibility of truly encountering one another as brothers and sisters.
Deborah and I are creating a new blog, to be in addition to this one, to be devoted to such an outreach to non-Catholics and to non-believers who are truly open to dialogue and mutual respect. I invite Catholics to be part of the dialogue also! I invite you all to visit there, to comment for the purpose of true dialogue. We want to try to give account of the faith we have been given, and to listen to the questions, the beliefs, the thoughts of non-Catholics as well.
The new blog is called “Court of the Gentiles: Seeking the Absolute.” Please visit the blog, and if you would like to be part of the discussions then know you are welcome and invited! I hope we can have many contributors, both Catholics and non-Catholics and non-believers.