October 15, 2004

Partner Daniel R. Murray served as moderator for a recent interdenominational panel aimed at facilitating discussion between worldviews and faiths, held at the Catholic Theological Union’s Bernardin Center.  The main presentation at “The Current Situation in Ecumenical Theology” was delivered by Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, and President of the Commission for Religious Relationships with Judaism.  Respondents were Rev. John Buchanan, Pastor at Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago, and Professor Antje Jackelen, Director of the Zygon Center for Religion & Science at the Lutheran School of Theology.  Mr. Murray then moderated a discussion among the panel and others in attendance at the presentation. 

Cardinal Walter Kasper, who is the Vatican’s chief ecumenical officer, was lecturing in the U.S. on the status of the ecumenical movement and on efforts to promote interdenominational relations.  Ecumenical theology seeks to educate people on differences in beliefs between churches and their cultural roots, and has traditionally emphasized the importance of facilitating the dialogue among Christian denominations, Judaism and the other world religions.

“It speaks tremendously of our city that Cardinal Kasper would choose Chicago as the site for his visits to America to discuss this topic,” said Mr. Murray, who also teaches bankruptcy law at the Notre Dame University Law School.  “Any time that leaders of different denominations and faiths can come together and share differences of perspective, and also discuss what unifies each other, is as important a discussion as could be had.” 

The Bernardin Center, named in honor of the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, focuses upon signature issues of Cardinal Bernardin, including interreligious dialogue among Christians, Jews and Moslems.  Mr. Murray is a member of the National Board of Advisers of the Bernardin Center.