The Pope to meet with Evangelicals, Jews, and Muslims in Vatican interfaith service
Russell Moore, Rick Warren to join Vatican conference on marriage and family life
National Catholic Reporter | November 3, 2014
The Vatican will host religious leaders from across the religious spectrum later this month for a conference where they are expected to defend traditional marriage as between a man and a woman.
While hosted by Vatican officials and scheduled to open with an address by Pope Francis, the conference will include Muslim and Jewish representatives, as well as American leading evangelicals like megachurch pastor Rick Warren and Southern Baptist ethicist Russell Moore.
The gathering comes just weeks after Pope Francis and senior Catholic leaders wrapped up a two-week Vatican Synod of Bishops on the family, which highlighted tensions within the Catholic hierarchy over gays and lesbians and cohabiting couples.
Despite initial overtures toward gay and lesbian Catholics and the "gifts and qualities" they had to offer the church, the final synod report scaled back that language. Conservative and traditionalist Catholics said any attempts to soften the church's teaching on homosexuality was a "betrayal" and akin to heresy.
Organizers say the new conference will show that while the Catholic hierarchy is split on how to address contemporary challenges to marriage and family life, the church can nonetheless seek common ground with religious leaders outside the Vatican.