By Robin Gomes
The Catholic Church in the Philippines is observing 2020 as the Year of Ecumenism, Interreligious Dialogue and Indigenous Peoples.
The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) on Wednesday unveiled the logo and the theme for the yearlong observance whose goal, it said, is to celebrate "human fraternity by promoting the culture of dialogue as a path to peace”.
The Church wants “to work for unity and harmony while respecting diversity and to recognize peoples’ identities, spiritualities and ancestral domain.”
The current Year of Youth and next year’s celebration are part of a 9-year preparation by the Philippine Catholic Church for the celebration of 500 years of Christianity in the country in 2021.
The logo features two shapes in blue and red that surround a heart-shaped space between them, which contains the theme of the year-long celebration: ‘Dialogue Towards Harmony’.
The CBCP statement explained that the colours are of the Filipino flag. While the blue is symbolic of the Pacific Ocean and the Filipino islands, the red represents the textile art of the indigenous peoples.
“The two blocks signify dialogue as they face each other forming a heart, which signifies human fraternity and respect for each other.” Together, the three shapes are in a circular harmonious dynamism and movement.
Speaking to AsiaNews, Father Sebastiano D’Ambra of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), pointed out that the theme is obviously related to the Abu Dhabi Document on Human Fraternity for world peace and living together, signed on 4 February in Abu Dhabi by Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmad Al-Tayyeb,
The Italian priest who serves as the executive secretary of CBCP’s Commission on Interreligious Dialogue said he included the Abu Dhabi Document in a publication distributed to all the dioceses of the country.
He said his Commission is working together with the Commissions on Ecumenical Affairs and on Indigenous Peoples to complete the preparations and develop programmes and initiatives for the celebration of 2020.
Fr. D’Ambra said, "The Document is one of the main points that will be addressed. Everything will take place ahead of 2021 when the Church will celebrate the 500th anniversary of Christianity in the Philippines.” (Source: UCANews, CBCPNews)