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Thomas Ryan, CSP Answers:
The theological bases for approaching followers of other religions with respect and esteem are found dispersed throughout the various documents of the Second Vatican Council. For example:
- God wills the salvation of all.
- The whole human race is united in its origin and destiny.
- God is active in the hearts of human beings, drawing them to God’s self.
- God is active in the different religious rites which give corporate expression to the human response to God.
- Human beings have been created with free will and must respond freely to God according to the dictates of their conscience, while always searching for the truth.
These teachings form the basis for interreligious/interfaith dialogue founded on mutual respect, binding trust, and honest friendship between the adherents of different religious traditions.