Congress to Mark 40 Years of "Nostra Aetate"

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ROME, SEPT. 22, 2005 ( To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council's declaration on interreligious relations, Rome is hosting an international congress which opens Sunday.

The meeting on "Nostra Aetate" will be held at the Gregorian University and is organized by the Institute for the Study of Religions and Cultures and the university's Cardinal Bea Center for Judaic Studies.

The congress's plenary sessions will be presented by representatives of various religions. Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, will open the two-day event.

Benedict XVI has made dialogue with believers of other religions one of his main concerns. On April 25, the day after the solemn inauguration of his papacy, he met with religious leaders who had come to Rome to join in the celebration.

Among those attending the congress are John Pawlikowski, of the Catholic Theological Union; David Rosen, of the American-Jewish Committee; and Asanga Tilakaratne, of the Institute of Pali and Buddhist Studies of Sri Lanka.