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Tomas Halik

Pope Francis is helping church reach world's 'seekers,' speakers say

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As the second anniversary of Pope Francis' election approached, an international group of philosophers, sociologists and theologians gathered to discuss how to renew the church in a secular age; many said that is exactly what Pope Francis is doing.

"I think the church had gotten into the stance of defending itself against its critics and trying to convince them, but that's not a stance of dialogue. Pope Francis is going out and reaching out," said Charles Taylor, professor emeritus of philosophy at Canada's McGill University.

Czech priest, philosopher Tomas Halik wins 2014 Templeton Prize

Tomas Halik, a Roman Catholic priest and philosopher, onetime Czech political activist and an advocate for religious freedom and interfaith dialogue, won the 2014 Templeton Prize on Thursday for religious and spiritual progress.

Halik, 65, a convert to Catholicism whose influences include religious figures such as Mother Teresa and author Graham Greene, has in recent years been increasingly active in building bridges between people of different faiths and between those who claim a religious tradition and those who do not.

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April 10-23, 2015

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