Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Romereports.com report: This office is working around the clock, in order to get a new foundation off the ground and running – one which would promote dialogue between believers and nonbelievers.

This Vatican-born foundation, the Courtyard of the Gentiles, is spearheaded by Father Laurent Mazas. Mazas says the organization was inspired by a speech Benedict XVI made in December 2009.

Benedict XVI

The Church should open a sort of 'Court of the Gentiles,' in which people might in some way latch on to God.”

The Courtyard of the Gentiles was a historical free space in the Temple of Jerusalem that was reserved for Gentiles, who wished to pray there to one God, yet not take part in the mystery.

Nearly 2,000 years later and through this foundation, the Catholic Church will organize a landmark open forum with non-believers, in order to discuss the reasons for believing, and also topics like medicine and culture.

Fr. Laurent Mazas
Director, Court of Gentiles
“The main idea is organizing meetings of an advanced intellectual and cultural level about different topics, relating to for example, transcendence, the existence of God. Also to say to non-believers: look at today's world, the current situation that we are living in together, globalization. We have to walk together and reflect together on the sort of human race that we want.”

Gaia Zanini
Court of Gentiles

“Themes are mostly centered around fundamental anthropological questions, like faith-based questions and also the relationship a person has with their own religion and how this has an effect on their social life.”

The inauguration of the Courtyard of Gentiles will kick off in Paris under the title, “Enlightenment, religion and common reason”. The ceremony will welcome politicians, intellectuals and philosophers and will be celebrated in March of 2011 at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

The ceremony will continue to unfold, in the Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris.

Fr. Laurent Mazas
Director, Court of Gentiles

“It will be an event geared towards young believers and non believers, a joyous event with diverse aspects, and at the same time a vigil of prayer organized inside a very holy place, in order to also invite non-believers and believers.”

The organization is also planning similar meetings in Bologna, Stockholm, Prague and Santo Domingo, and they are working on having events in Russia, Spain, the United States and Canada.
Father Laurent hopes that the event will spark thought-provoking debate between believers and non-believers.

It's a meeting that he hopes will enrich the lives of both. For now, we'll just have to wait and see how this ground-breaking event unfolds in Paris.

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