Vatican Dicastery Initiates Dialogue with Culture in the U.S.

Pontifical Council for Culture Calls for Collaboration with Institutes and Organizations

On November 15, the Camartis Institute and the Pontifical Council for Culture announced a call for proposals to further their engagement with North American audiences for the promotion of dialogue between faith and culture. Last December, the Pontifical Council for Culture held a meeting in the United States to lay the foundation for a series of events titled “From Sea to Shining Sea: Faith and Culture in North America.”

 

Pontifical Council for Culture Calls for Collaboration with Institutes and Organizations

On November 15, the Camartis Institute and the Pontifical Council for Culture announced a call for proposals to further their engagement with North American audiences for the promotion of dialogue between faith and culture. Last December, the Pontifical Council for Culture held a meeting in the United States to lay the foundation for a series of events titled “From Sea to Shining Sea: Faith and Culture in North America.”

The overall objective of the From Sea to Shining Sea initiative is to bring together leading North American Catholics with preeminent intellectuals from secular and non-Catholic perspectives. The call for proposals is aimed at organizing events where honest, intellectual dialogue can take place. Themes for discussion and exhibition will include the human experience, how we relate to technology, politics, the arts, and science.

In a video interview, Cardinal-designate Gianfranco Ravasi shared the reasons for this series of events in the United States and throughout North America. He noted, “The United States is a very diverse place with various cultural and social differences, which create an important perspective, one that we would like to engage on the part of the Pontifical Council for Culture, on the part of the Holy See, and, indeed, on the part of Christianity around the world.”

The call for proposals, available at www.IntelligentDialogue.org, specifically asks for institutions and organizations – regardless of religious or secular affiliation – to act as host partners and sponsors for the events. The main purpose of each event is to promote respectful and honest dialogue between the Catholic Church and a particular segment of society regarding a particular theme (e.g., arts, politics, science, technology, etc.).

“The influence of cultural tendencies in the United States has a ripple effect throughout the world. That’s why it’s so important for the [Catholic] Church to begin a new dialogue with culture in the United States,” says Msgr. Melchor Sanchez de Toca y Alameda, the undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture. “We are trying to bridge what [Pope] Paul VI called ‘the great divide between the [Catholic] Church and culture.’ He called this a drama, the drama of our time.”

The first event of the series will focus on the arts, bringing together filmmakers, Hollywood studio executives, and ecclesial leaders, and will take place in Hollywood, California, the center of the film and entertainment industry in the United States. Organizers are planning for a March 2011 event. The call for proposals will open up opportunities for other organizations, associations and institutions to host similar events with the cooperation and collaboration of the Pontifical Council for Culture.

Dr. Max Bonilla, President of the Camartis Institute and spokesperson for the series, believes “From Sea to Shining Sea: Faith and Culture in North America,” will appeal to many people throughout the United States and Canada precisely because of the type of dialogue it seeks to set up.  “At its core this initiative intends a serious and sincere dialogue where the truth can be pursued without bias of any type.  Always respectful, yet intensely sincere conversations are the main goal of the series,” said Dr. Bonilla.

Proposals will be accepted through January 17, 2011. For more information about “From Sea to Shining Sea: Faith and Culture in North America” or to schedule an interview with the Series spokesperson Dr. Max Bonilla, please contact Lisa Wheeler with The Maximus Group at 678-990-9032; ext 102.