(Bishop of Bouaké, Ivory Coast)
One must say that never before have we proclaimed, repeated and even sung the word dialogue as in recent months. Real dialogue always leads to agreement and communion by the sincere re-establishment of interpersonal and group relations abruptly interrupted or just simply marred. It is peace in perspective.
In the Church and for a Christian, dialogue is first of all the privileged way of God's irruption into history of mankind. Christ offers us a very good example of dialogue with the woman of Samaria (Jn. 4,1-42). By a simple unusual question at an accidental meeting - "give me a drink" the woman finds herself strangely revealed to herself and discovers the awaited Messiah like a spring of living water welling up to eternal life. "Si scires donum Dei"- "If you knew the gift of God!".
The Church of the Ivory Coast ardently wishes to deal with all her dialogue relations in the evangelic framework of respect and mutual esteem. She must be careful about Traditional Religions.
In the past, a fruitful collaboration with some of our Protestant brothers fostered common achievements in the field of teaching, study and dissemination of the Bible, and having dialogue with the State. A new departure is currently imposed to face new challenges.
Besides, if one cannot speak about real dialogue of the Church with Islam, need is felt by knowing each other, respect and mutual esteem in order to eliminate prejudice and bar the way to the devil of intolerance and blind fanaticism.
As regards sects of African, Asian and American origin, at the moment it seems difficult to have real dialogue with them. Their presence must stimulate within our communities Christian formation that are all azimuths of fraternity experienced in solidarity.
One can see it, dialogue is an instrument that is indispensable for the evangelic mission of the Church, as "Mater et Magistra", she is therefore careful about everybody. She puts her Word of truth, Justice and Love at everybody's disposal. "Si scire donum Dei". So that she can be understood from the depth of one's heart, as the Samaritan woman had done - disciple and missionary.
Original text: French