In the midst of an address to the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples (could they think of a longer name?) Pope Benedict made what I thought was an interesting remark about interreligious dialogue.:
The Pope highlighted the Catholic Church’s awareness of the fact that “inter-religious dialogue is part of her commitment to serve humanity in the modern world.” In our time, “Christians are called to cultivate a form of open dialogue on religious problems, not renouncing the presentation … of the Christian message in keeping with their own identity.”
Dialogue with adherents to other religions is not an option for Catholics, but a requirement, and that dialogue is not simply informing others of the Truth and then telling them to accept it or go away. Dialogue entails a back and forth, not to end up at a compromise position that is a chimera of the two religions, but so that a gradual enlightenment can occur leading the non-Christian to the Truth and the Christian to a greater understanding of the mindset and outlook of the non-Christian. Note how he says that while a dialogue is important for discussing religious problems, the participants must not lose their own Christian identity in the process.
Seems to be a rebuke of the both the conquistador school of religious dialogue (“Convert or die!”) as well as the syncretist school (“Whatever floats your boat, man, now pass the peace pipe.”).