February 11, 2016, 6:03p.m. – POPE FRANCIS’ language of “mercy” can be used as a framework for the Church’s dialogue with Islam and other non-Christian religions, an Italo-Belgian Dominican scholar said on Wednesday.

Speaking on the second day of UST Theology Week, Fr. Emilio Platti, O.P., member of the Dominican Institute for Oriental Studies, said mercy should lead Christians away from radical thought and into dialogue with Muslims.

“Dialogue is underlining that we have so much in common if we define ourselves faithful in God’s mercy,” said Platti, who travels between Leuven in Belgium where he spent his formation and Cairo,  Egypt. 

“Radicalism is the fruit of identity crisis. What we can do as Christians is to be better and be more merciful Christians,” he told participants at the Buenaventura Garcia Paredes, O.P. Building. 

Platti’s talk, titled “Dominicans and Christian-Muslim Dialogue,” echoed Pope Francis’ call for global interreligious dialogue.

This year’s Theology Week, which started Feb. 9 and ends on Feb. 11, coincides with the two Jubilees of Mercy and the 800th year of the founding of the Order of Preachers. The theme of this year’s conference is “Building the Church the Dominican Way.”


Dominican contributions

According to former rector Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P., dean of the Faculty of Sacred Theology, this year’s Theology Week aims to recognize the Dominican Order’s contributions to the Catholic Church. 

“Oftentimes, they see the Dominicans only as preachers and those who administer hope. Through this, we hope that [everyone] can have a deeper knowledge of the Dominican contribution to the growth of the Church here in our country,” de la Rosa told the Varsitarian.

Former UST Vice Rector Fr. Virgilio Ojoy, O.P. highlighted the contributions of Fr. Pedro Salgado, O.P. in the field of political philosophy.

Other talks focused on the Church, dogma, and the role of the Dominican Order in history. Lea Mat P. Vicencio with reports from John Gabriel M. Agcaoili


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