Vatican’s Interreligious Dialogue Chief Visits Jiba

On August 5, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue in the Vatican, visited Jiba with nine other officials. On the previous day, Cardinal Tauran had attended the Interreligious Gathering of Prayer for World Peace held at Mt. Hiei―the mountain well known for the headquarters of the Tendai Sect of Buddhism. Accompanied by the Holy See’s ambassador to Japan, vice president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan, Cardinal Tauran visited Jiba for the first time prior to his visits to the atom-bombed cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Guided by Rev. Masahiko Iburi, Director-in-Chief of Tenrikyo Administrative Affairs, the group first visited the Main Sanctuary and the Foundress’ Sanctuary at Tenrikyo Church Headquarters. Next, the group went to Tenri Central Library. Cardinal Tauran, who used to serve as archivist and librarian of the Holy Roman Church, directing the Vatican Secret Archives and the Vatican Library, earnestly asked questions about how Tenri Central Library preserves kirishitan-ban (publications produced by the Society of Jesus in the late 16th and early 17th centuries in Japan) and other old documents―which include three Important Cultural Properties of Japan.

Later, Cardinal Tauran met with the Shinbashira at Moya 38. Cardinal Tauran, who had touched upon the importance of religious prayer in his speech at Mt. Hiei, said: “I was very impressed to see parents and children worshiping together [in the Main Sanctuary]. I found it very significant as prayer is increasingly disappearing from our family settings.” He also shared his impressions of the Home of the Parent: “I see that there are many different kinds of academic facilities such as a university and a library surrounding the Main Sanctuary. I understand that this arrangement embodies the balance between faith and reason. It gave me a sense of affinity because this is what the Roman Catholic Church is also pursuing.”

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