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Vatican official cautions against syncretism

Cardinal Walter Kasper, the president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, has cautioned against syncretism in ecumenical dialogue.

Catholic World News reports that Cardinal Kasper's warning, published in Saturday's issue of L'Osservatore Romano, points out that at an inter-religious prayer meeting in Assisi on 24 January, the followers of different religious traditions will meet and pray separately.

"Christians cannot pray together with members of other religions," he said, insofar as the others do not pray in the name of Jesus Christ.

The cardinal also stresses that ecumenical dialogue should be based not merely on human virtues such as tolerance and courtesy, but on a deeply rooted desire to restore unity in the Christian fold.