I was once asked if I believed in interfaith dialogue. I told my friend that it depends. Dialogue is a word borrowed from two Greek words, dia and logoi. Dia means “through” and logoi means “words”. To put it plainly, dialogue means “through words”. At this point it is evident that dialogue is certainly a means to an ends.
Do I believe in dialogue? Yes but it depends on the goal. What are we trying to achieve through our words? In the last 50 years, the Catholic Church has been engaged in dialogue with almost every other religion on the planet. The trouble with this dialogue is that its extremely dishonest. Dialogue required honesty or else it is completely useless. Unfortunately this is the trap that the Holy See has fallen into.
A good example of this dishonest dialogue is that between the Holy See and the Jewish community. This dialogue is with liberal Jews since traditional Jews are smart enough not to engage in this extremely dishonest enterprise. The Holy See does not tell our Jewish friends what it truly teaches. It gives them the impression that our doctrine has changed. Doctrine can never change; it can be ignored but it cannot be changed.
The following excerpt from the Council of Florence is never brought up.
It firmly believes, professes and teaches that the legal prescriptions of the old Testament or the Mosaic law, which are divided into ceremonies, holy sacrifices and sacraments, because they were instituted to signify something in the future, although they were adequate for the divine cult of that age, once our lord Jesus Christ who was signified by them had come, came to an end and the sacraments of the new Testament had their beginning. Whoever, after the passion, places his hope in the legal prescriptions and submits himself to them as necessary for salvation and as if faith in Christ without them could not save, sins mortally. It does not deny that from Christ’s passion until the promulgation of the gospel they could have been retained, provided they were in no way believed to be necessary for salvation. But it asserts that after the promulgation of the gospel they cannot be observed without loss of eternal salvation. Therefore it denounces all who after that time observe circumcision, the sabbath and other legal prescriptions as strangers to the faith of Christ and unable to share in eternal salvation, unless they recoil at some time from these errors. Therefore it strictly orders all who glory in the name of Christian, not to practise circumcision either before or after baptism, since whether or not they place their hope in it, it cannot possibly be observed without loss of eternal salvation.
This is never brought up in any ecumenical dialogue that the Church has ever signed with the Jewish people. Why not? Because its simply not popular. We’d rather tell that how great they are and call them our ‘elder brothers’ in faith. It’s shameful. It’s disrespectful to both Jews and Catholics.
In conclusion, I am a big believer in interfaith dialogue. The only difference between me and a liberal is that my dialogue is honest and their dialogue is not.