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Holy See/ 3. Competence, decision-making and administration  

3.3 Inter-ministerial or intergovernmental co-operation

The Holy See is very aware of the importance of intercultural and interreligious dialogue, and so promotes a significant collaboration between these two distinct fields.

Cultural co-operation is also carried out between four dicasteries by a standing group composed of the Secretaries of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue and the Pontifical Council for Culture. The aim of this standing group is to maintain constant relations and communication with partners so that matters of common interest can be confronted together. The group produces documents, considers and invites academic studies, promotes pastoral reflection, and proposes joint initiatives, thereby harmonising their activities, especially on the issues of relations with non-Christians, sects and contemporary cultural currents. This standing group also deals with intercultural dialogue.

The Pontifical Council for Culture has the mission of monitoring and co-ordinating the activities of the Pontifical Academies through the Coordinating Council for Pontifical Academies. The Pontifical Academy of Science, Academy of Social Sciences and the Academy of Life have a special status within the organisation.

The international and multicultural composition of the Congregations and Pontifical Councils, with members from all continents, shows the intention of the Roman Curia to be an effective instrument of contact and communion between local Churches across the world. This is seen in numerous joint initiatives.

Meetings between the Presidents of all the dicasteries, together with the Sovereign Pontiff, ensure across-the-board unity of purpose. The Secretaries of the dicasteries also have their interdicasterial plenary meetings. Apart from their work on standing committees, officials of different Dicasteries regularly receive each others documents and journals and attend events whenever there are interdicasterial issues of interest or competence. Within this context, for example, the Pontifical Council for Migrants and the Pontifical Council for Culture have developed a common approach to the place of intercultural dialogue.

Chapter published: 02-12-2009

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