By Christina Hermoso
With the local Church’s observance of the Year of Ecumenism, Interreligious Dialogue, and Indigenous Peoples on December 1, Marawi Bishop Edwin de la Peña (incoming chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines-Episcopal Commission on Interreligious Dialogue and head of the Year of Ecumenism) said, the only way to attain genuine peace is through dialogue despite differences in religion and beliefs.
“We become mindful of our need for one another in spite of the differences that we have,” Dela Peña said over Church-run Radio Veritas.
The bishop said the observance aims to unify all sectors of society for a more peaceful coexistence.
“The Church recognizes the importance of ecumenism and dialogue. We are preparing programs for the next liturgical year in intra-faith dialogue for all Christian communities, and interreligious dialogue for other faith denominations and beliefs as well as with indigenous communities,” the prelate said.
The Year of Ecumenism, which aims to celebrate the human fraternity by promoting the culture of dialogue as a path to peace, is part of the nine-year spiritual journey for the anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the country in 2021.
With the theme “Dialogue towards harmony,” the observance begins on December 1, on the First Sunday of Advent and the start of the liturgical year 2020 of the Catholic Church. The CBCP has unveiled the official logo for the year-long event.
“We need to engage with each one of them in a more constructive way to attain genuine peace and make our relationship more humane and harmonious,” De la Peña said.