CBCI Office for Dialogue and Desk Ecumenism
CHAIRMAN
Most Rev Felix Anthony Machado
Archbishop-Bishop of Vasai
Add : Bishop’s House, Barampur, Vasai Road, Thane Dt. Vasai – 401 202, (Maharashtra)
Tel (O) : 0250 - 2380220, 2381521,2382964
Fax (O) : 0250 - 2383333
Mobile: (0) 9730991263
E-mail : vasaidiocese@gmail.com
E-mail (P): archbp.48@gmail.com
MEMBERS
Most Rev. Raphy Manjaly
Bishop of Allahabad
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

Most Rev. Mar Joseph Perumthottam
Archbishop of Changanacherry
Archbishop’s House,
Changanacherry-686101 (Kerala)
Tel. (Office) : 0481-2420040,2420614,2420379
Tel. (P) : 0481-2426522
Fax: 0481-2422540
Mobile (P): bpjperumthottam@yahoo.co.in
Website: www.archdiocesechanganacherry.org
Secretary
Sr .Teresa Joseph ,FMA
Add : Auxilium Centre,
Post Box No. 19877
St. Andrew’s Road, Plot No. 84, Bandra,
Mumbai-400050 (Maharashtra)
Tel. (Office) :022-26414225
Mobile : (0)9969707959,(0)9833416942
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
The Commission for Dialogue and Ecumenism’ was established in January 1973 following the national seminar on ‘Church in India’ held in 1969 and as a follow-up of Vatican II. Initially it was one among the cluster of concerns known as ‘Commission for Proclamation, Ecumenism, Dialogue and Mass Media’. Later, it was made an autonomous department with the name ‘Commission for Ecumenism and Dialogue’. The focus of the Commission then included ‘inter-denominational dialogue, inter-religious dialogue and dialogue with non-believers’.

The Commission was known as ‘Commission for Dialogue and Desk for Ecumenism’, in line with the decision of the CBCI General Body meeting in Jalandhar in 2002, which erected three Commissions for Ecumenism at the level of the three Ecclesial Bodies 'CCBI (Latin), SMBS (Malabar), SMES (Malankara). After that, the Commission was using titles ‘Commission for Inter-religious Dialogue’ or ‘Commission for Inter-faith Dialogue’ and ‘National Desk for Ecumenism’ for functional reasons. The Office now takes care of coordinating ecumenical matters at the national level and inter-religious concerns at national, regional and diocesan levels.

Vision
The CBCI Office for Dialogue and Ecumenism is rooted in the values of Jesus. In response to the context of our times, it envisions the emergence of a society, in which religious, racial, ethnic, cultural, ideological and other identities and traditions of India are accepted and promoted through creative interaction for the promotion of harmony and wellbeing of all.

Foundational Perspectives
The Office for Religious Harmony is grounded in the spiritual aspiration of Jesus the Master ‘that all of them may be one’ (Jn 17.21). It relies on the maxim of harmony: ‘we have to look at what unites people rather than what divides them’ (Pope John XXIII). It professes in the ‘common origin, common existence and common destiny’ of the diverse affiliations of faiths and ideologies. It upholds ‘belonging to one another’ and ‘belonging together to the Divine’ as the combined ethos of the various denominational, religious and social traditions. It believes in celebrating ‘beauty in diversity’ in the colloquium of faiths and traditions. The Commission looks forward to ‘walking together’ with people of all communities in the spirit of shared pilgrimage to the same Divine and ‘working together’ with them to usher in a human society that is harmonious and integrated.

Mission
The Commission attempts a tuning of perspectives among Christian communities and with other communities of religious faiths and secular faiths, in view of promoting cordial relations and peaceful co-existence among them. It avails itself of most opportunities for ‘building bridges of understanding’ across all human-made borders of faith. It remains alert to responding to the ‘current concerns’ of the Christian community and the society, especially those that arises in the name of faith.

Areas of operation
  • Dialogue within the Catholic community / Intra-denominational dialogue
  • Dialogue among the Christian communities / Inter-denominational dialogue
  • Dialogue with other religious communities / Inter-religious dialogue
  • Dialogue with non-religious traditions and ideologies / Religious-non-religious dialogue
  • Dialogue with the civil society / Religious-secular dialogue
  • Dialogical intervention on occasions of communal disturbances and conflicts
Networking and collaboration
  • Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue (PCID), Vatican, Rome
  • Office of Ecumenical and Inter-religious Affairs (OEIA, FABC), Bangkok
  • National Council of Churches in India (NCCI), Nagpur
  • National United Christian Forum (NUCF), New Delhi (NCCI and EFI)