Filipino bishops: 2020, Year of the Dialogue on ‘human fraternity’

The Abu Dhabi Declaration plays an important role in the plans of Bishops' Conference. In 2021, Catholics will celebrate the 500th anniversary of Christianity in the Philippines.


Manila (AsiaNews) – The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) today unveiled the logo and theme for the Year of Ecumenism, Interreligious Dialogue and Indigenous Peoples, which Catholics will celebrate in 2020.

The goal is to celebrate "human fraternity by promoting the culture of dialogue as a path to peace”. Equally, it is “to work for unity and harmony while respecting diversity and to recognize peoples’ identities, spiritualities and ancestral domain.”

The logo features three shapes, two blue and one red. They create a blank space in the form of a heart, which contains the theme for next year: ‘Dialogue Towards Harmony’.

“These colors are the same colors as the Filipino flag. The blue color represents the color of the Pacific Ocean and the color of the Filipino islands,” the CBCP statement read. The red colour instead stands for the textile art of indigenous Peoples.

“The two blocks signify dialogue as they face each other forming a heart, which signifies the human fraternity and respect for each other.”

The theme is clearly related to the 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, Fr Sebastiano D’Ambra, from the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME), told AsiaNews.

"I included the Abu Dhabi Declaration in a publication distributed to all the dioceses of the country," says Fr D'Ambra, who currently serves as the executive secretary of the CBCP’s Commission for interreligious dialogue.

“My Commission is working together with the other two – ecumenical affairs and indigenous peoples – to complete the preparations and develop programmes and initiatives.

"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.”

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