Directors of Inter-Religious Dialogue and Ecumenism tasked on more encompassing dialogue encounters

By Emmanuel Eko, CSN Media

Catholic Diocesan Directors of Inter-Religious Dialogue and Ecumenism have been charged to engage in dialogue encounters that transverse the numerous points where the government, particularly the politicians have failed.

The charge was given at a three-day meeting of Diocesan Directors of Inter-Religious Dialogue and Ecumenism, organised by the Department of Mission and Dialogue of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN), in Abuja from Tuesday, November 22, to Thursday, November 24, 2022.

Presenting a reflection at the meeting, the Lead Speaker, Director of Inter-Religious Dialogue, Abuja Archdiocese, Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Unamba emphasised the strategic position of dialogue as the framework for all encounters of today.

Fr. Unamba decried the prevailing situation in Nigeria today, observing that “Nigeria is retrogressing in terms of managing our ethno-cultural and religious differences.” He noted that “there was a time when we had better harmonious living in Nigeria than now.”

Quoting a famous Nigerian Author, the Priest stated that “today, we can say with Chinua Achebe that things have fallen apart in many areas. A lot of reasons can be adduced for this collapse.”

He thus stressed on the need for a more encompassing dialogue encounter, noting that today’s dialogue encounter should take into consideration the changes that have occurred in the past years, which have made dialogue more difficult yet much more expedient.

Fr. Unamba further encouraged participants at the meeting to have a rethink on dialogue engagement in Nigeria today, with a greater focus on “the elements of our common humanity.”

Earlier in an address, the Director of Mission and Dialogue at CSN, Rev. Fr. Joseph Nomhwange, SMA, saluted the courage of the Directors, noting that despite the security situation in the country, they were able to attend the meeting. He assured them of a fruitful deliberation.

Emphasizing the aim of the meeting, Fr. Nomhwange stated that the meeting is targeted at a defined audience and is organised in collaboration with UFUK Dialogue, a Foundation founded in Abuja with a focus on dialogue and peace activities in academic and intellectual levels for the education of the different members of the society.

The gathering had in attendance Directors from Catholic Archdioceses and Dioceses from all over the country.