WASHINGTON, D.C. — Washington Theological Union President Louis Iasiello served as a panelist on Oct. 19 at the Center for Christian Jewish Dialogue’s annual dinner to discuss religious culture in military life.
The Center sponsored the dialogue “with a military focus this year because soldiers, sailors, and airmen and those who minister to them have long modeled how a religiously diverse people can live, work, and worship together without compromising their religious distinctiveness,” wrote CCJD board member L. Martin Nussbaum when inviting Lou.
This summer, Lou, a leading just-war theorist, retired from the Navy after 25 years of service and became president of Washington Theological Union, a Roman Catholic Graduate School of Theology and Ministry of which Holy Name Province is a corporate member. Retiring at the rank of rear admiral, he served most recently as Chief of Navy Chaplains, the community leader for almost 2500 chaplains and enlisted personnel serving the Navy, the Marine Corps and the Coast Guard in the Department of Defense and Homeland Security.
As president of a school founded in the spirit of the Second Vatican Council, Lou said he welcomed the opportunity to address a group of believers committed to building strong relations among the Abrahamic faiths. He has often remarked that he left the chaplaincy a more enlightened and empowered spiritual leader as a result of his daily interaction and common ministry with chaplains of myriad faiths and denominations.
“Religion comes from the Latin word religio, which means ‘re-establishing the bond.’ Men and women of faith have an obligation to work together in the building of God’s kingdom… thus showing a world often critical or even skeptical of religion that it does have the power to bind, to heal and to unify an often sinful and fragmented humanity,” Lou said. .
Five hundred members of the conference, including five bishops, Dr. James Dobson, pastor Ted Haggard, along with rabbis, priests and ministers, attended. CCJD is headquartered in Colorado Springs, where the dinner was held.