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Participants at the Taoist-Christian Dialogue that began in Hong Kong on March 11 (UCA News/Vatican News)

As the Vatican walks a fine diplomatic line in its ongoing engagement with China, it has sponsored conferences in Taiwan and Hong Kong to further interfaith dialogue with both Confucianism and Taoism. Source: Crux.

From March 7-8, the Vatican’s Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue partnered with the Department of Religious Studies at Fu Jen Catholic University in Taipei to hold a conference titled, “Christians Fostering Dialogue with Confucians: Guidelines and Prospects”.

A statement from the dicastery said the conference, held at the university, is part of an ongoing initiative “aimed at formulating official guidelines for Catholics engaging in dialogue with followers of Confucianism,” an ancient Chinese belief system that emphasises personal ethics and morality.

Speaking before the conference, Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue undersecretary Fr Paulin Batairwa Kubuya said it was hoped a draft of the guidelines would be finalised while in Taipei, with experts coming from countries including Australia, China, Italy, and the US.

Fr Kubuya said Christianity and Confucianism are both “wisdom traditions” that have existed for thousands of years.

“Confucian ethics is very, very strong about helping people learn to connect themselves, how to be good citizens, how to organise their lives. This aspect we also find corresponds in Christianity,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue has sponsored a three-day conference in Hong Kong to continue Christian-Taoist Dialogue in partnership with both the Diocese of Hong Kong and the Taoist Association of Hong Kong.

Taoism is both a religion and a philosophy from ancient China in which humans and animals must live in balance with the Tao, or the universe.

The conference on Taoism, titled “Cultivating a Harmonious Society through Interfaith Dialogue,” concludes today and has drawn scholars from China, France, Italy, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam, among other countries.


Vatican engages Hong Kong, Taiwan in interfaith dialogue (By Elise Ann Allen, Crux)


Cardinal Chow: Taoists and Christians can join hands to build harmonious society (Vatican News)