Office of Ecumenism and Interreligious Affairs
The Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs exists to promote the goals of the Roman Catholic Church in its pursuit of visible and spiritual Christian unity in southern Alberta through dialogue, prayer, social justice, ecumenical formation of the clergy and laity, and the permanent renewal of the Catholic Church in its vocation as followers of Jesus Christ (Catechism of the Catholic Church, p.821).
Recognizing that our Christian brothers and sisters share in the same Holy Spirit by the virtue of baptism (Catechism of the Catholic Church, p.1271, Rm. 6:3-11, Ti. 3:5), the Diocese of Calgary seeks the help and work of the Christian Churches and ecclesial communities to help build the body of Christ, as "...many elements of sanctification are found outside of the truth are found outside of confines of the Catholic Church: the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, faith, hope and charity, with other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 819). For the source of all disunity within The Body of Christ is the direct result of sin (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 817). Since the preaching of Christ to thee nations is hindered by disunity the Catholic Church confesses that "division openly contradicts the will of Christ, scandalizes the world, and damages the holy cause of preaching the Gospel to every creature," (Jn. 17:21, Decree on Ecumenism , p. 1). The Office of Ecumenism thereby seeks to create unity amongst all Christians in southern Alberta through creating connections with existing Christian communities and Churches, and the renewal of the Catholic Church itself: for in the history of the one Christian Church "both sides were to blame" for disunity, and "...although the Catholic Church has been endowed with all divinely revealed truth and with all means of grace... its members fail to live by them with all the fervour that they should, so that the radiance of the Church's image is less clear in the eyes of our separated brethren and of the world at large, and the growth of God's kingdom is delayed," (Decree on Ecumenism, p.3, 4).
Ecumenical Education Days and other initiatives help spread ecumenical awareness amongst the Christian community in Calgary. Prayer for Christian unity is promoted in a formal way through the promotion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and other events throughout the year. The Calgary Council of Churches, Calgary Connection Breakfasts, and CEMA (Calgary Evangelical Ministerial Association) help formally spread ecumenical dialogue.
The Office of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs also exists to represent the Catholic Diocese and its relation to non-Christian religions. In this, it seeks to shine the example that the person and work of Jesus Christ was before the world. It attempts to erase misunderstandings that exist about Christian and Catholic history and doctrine, to apologize and seek reconciliation of past wrongs committed by Christians, and on the basis that all men and women share in the brotherhood of our "common origin" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 842), to share dialogue, social justice and societal peace, without reference to violence or forced compulsion, (Declaration on Religious Freedom, p.1).
Interreligious dialogue takes place formally on The Canadian Council of Christians and Jews, and Abraham's Tent (a monotheistic dialogue group).