CHAIRMAN
Most Rev. Mar Joseph Perumthottam
Archbishop of Changanacherry
Address: Archbishop’s House, Changanacherry-686101 (Kerala)
Tel (O): 0481-2420040,2420614,2420379
Tel (P): 0481-2426522
Fax (O): 0481-2422540
E-mail: bpjperumthottam@yahoo.co.in
Website: www.archdiocesechanganacherry.org
MEMBERS
Most Rev. Raphy Manjaly
Bishop of Allahabad
Address: Bishop’s House, 32, Thornhill Road, Allahabad-211002 (Uttar Pradesh)
Tel. (Office): 0532-2407451
Mobile: (0) 9452825777, (0) 8004928843
E-mail: manjalyraphy@yahoo.co.in
Website: www.dioceseofallahabad.org
MEMBERS
Most Rev. Thomas Dabre
Bishop of Poona
Address: Bishop's House, 1-B, Prince of Wales Drive, Pune - 411 001. (Maharashtra)
Tel. (Office) : 020-26360065, 26361318
Tel. (P) : 020-26361001
Fax: 020-26343510
Mobile (P): 09923324220
Email (Office): punedioc@vsnl.com
Website: www.poonadiocese.org
Secretary
Sr. Teresa Joseph, FMA
Address: Auxilium Centre, Provincial Office, Post Box No. 19877 St. Andrew’s Road, Plot No. 84, Bandra, Mumbai - 400 050 (Maharashtra)
Mobile: +91-9969707959, +91-8806899349
E-mail(Office): secretaryde@gmail.com
E-mail(P): terejoseph@gmail.com

 

EMBLEM OF THE COMMISSION
Tree

The tree symbolizes the mystery of life on earth. Its roots that run deep into the heart of the mother earth, both vertically and horizontally, speak of life ‘being rooted in the divine’. Its trunk, branches, leaves, flowers and fruits stand for the immense diversities of human life, in the ethnic, social, cultural, religious and other spheres. It refers to the natural inclination of human life to reach out to all directions for ‘being related to the other’. Its centrally basic position in the emblem emphasizes the comprehensive meaning of life, along with its implications for all forms and dimensions. The tree, along with its roots, branches and all their contents, represent the eternal reality in its entirety, with all its manifestations and mystical delicacies.

Symbols of Religions

Diverse Religious Symbols with different shapes and colours affirm the ‘identity and singular character’ of each religious tradition. Their being placed randomly in the logo rules out any consideration in terms of superior and inferior positions in life. They have a common origin and a common destiny. They belong to the Creator together. They belong to each other. They live with each other. They exist together. The beauty of their diversity is in their ‘spirit of togetherness’. The ‘celebration of communion’ among them explains the vision and mission of the organization.

White-Blue Background and White Glow at the Centre

The sky blue background represents the colourful universe around us. The space outside refers to the ‘infinite’ beyond us and to the vastness of the unknown wisdom yet to be sought. The white glow depicted at the centre stands for the depth of the divine wisdom to be fathomed by all faith traditions, irrespective and in spite of their own special provisions for spiritual attainments.

The Rays Emanating To and Fro

The rays emanating to and fro refer to the dynamism of yearning for enlightenment as well as of the quest for wisdom that lie beyond the ordinary perceptions of all faith traditions. They refer to the ‘spiritual dynamics of interaction and mutuality’ as well as to the ever-emerging divine energy, in the ‘inter-natural’, ‘inter-human’, ‘inter-faith’ and the ‘human-divine’ dimensions.

Harmony of Faiths

Harmony of Faiths, Religions, Ideologies, Perspectives and Ways is the sublime rationale and common goal of human life. A ‘dialogical process’ is the means to achieve that goal. ‘Willingness to unlearn’ and ‘go beyond the already known’ is the sure way to ‘learn the yet to be known’. A ‘culture of cross-cultural relations’ and the ensuing ‘walking together in life’ is the way forward for the humans. Commitment to newer insights, deeper experiences and broader implications is the spiritual path towards further heights in celebrating the ‘oneness of humanity’ amidst the diversities of communities. This is the way that leads the humans to their eternal destiny that merges with the transcendent and all-encompassing presence of the divine, in response of the laborious search of the human heart.

HISTORY

Today, Dialogue, is the Church’s style of service as she continues to ascertain a dialogue of love with the human family. In the Church in India, the CBCI office for Dialogue and Desk for Ecumenism strives to establish network of contacts, organize training programs to create an ever-growing awareness in the field of dialogue and ecumenism.

The Beginnings - Alterations in name with a growing clarity of mission

There was a gradual change from 1973 – 2011, in the very name itself. The CBCI Office for Dialogue and Desk for Ecumenism had the following names:

  • Commission for Proclamation, Ecumenism, Dialogue and Mass Media
  • Commission for Ecumenism and Dialogue - 1973
  • Commission for Dialogue and Desk for Ecumenism
  • Commission for Inter-religious Dialogue or Commission for Inter-faith Dialogue and National Desk for Ecumenism
  • The Commission for Religious Harmony
  • CBCI Office for Dialogue and Desk for Ecumenism - 2011

 

Leadership that left an impact

One of the characteristics of the CBCI office for Dialogue and Desk for Ecumenism is the leaders of its history and their creative efforts to shape its vision and mission. Most Rev. George Punnakottil, Most Rev. Kuriakose Kunnacharry, Most Rev. Patrick D’Souza, and Most Rev. Gali Bali have served as Chairman of CBCI Commission for Ecumenism and Dialogue. Currently, His Grace Archbishop Felix Machado is the Chairman.

Fr. Dr. Albert Nambiaparambil took up the work as National Secretary of the Commission for Ecumenism and Dialogue in January 1973 and continued till 1982 - mid year. He was again requested to take up the work in 1987 and remained in office until 1994.

The years 1994 – 2002 saw Fr. Dr. A. Suresh as secretary for CBCI Commission for Ecumenism and Dialogue. From 2002 - 8 October 2011, Fr. Dr. M.D. Thomas worked as National Director of the Commission for Religious Harmony. Commencing on 8 October 2011 onwards Sr. Dr. Teresa Joseph fma is the Secretary.

VISION

Formation of Personnel to set dialogue on the solid ground of Catholic Teaching.

MISSION
  • Training of personnel (all categories of people) Study days/Seminars
  • Assisting the Regional Councils when requested
  • Collaborating with the Regional Secretaries of Dialogue and Ecumenism
  • Net-working at all levels
  • Systematic encounters with believers of other religions
  • Furthering the beginning and growth of ‘mini Assisi’ wherever possible
  • Live-in seminars to equip those interested with skills for Peace research and conflict resolution
  • Accompaniment of couples – especially mixed marriages
  • Preparation of resource material

 

Specific Programs carried out over the past five years:

  • Seminars for Teachers/Parents and Students
  • Training Young College Students to be Ambassadors of Peace and Harmony
  • Live-in Seminars for Couples of Mixed Marriages
  • Basic Courses on Interreligious dialogue for Teachers of all religions
  • Interreligious Retreats for Teachers /Parents and Students
  • Interreligious Camps for children and young people
  • Visiting of Families and Counselling

 

“ . . . Dialogue is essential if we are to know, understand and respect one another. But, as experience has shown, for such dialogue and encounter to be effective, it must be grounded in a full and forthright presentation of our respective convictions. Certainly, such dialogue will accentuate how varied our beliefs, traditions and practices are. But if we are honest in presenting our convictions, we will be able to see more clearly what we hold in common. New avenues will be opened for mutual esteem, cooperation and indeed friendship.” Pope Francis, January 13, 2015, Address at the Interreligious and Ecumenical Gathering Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall, Colombo