In a speech to religious leaders from around the world gathered in Rome ahead of the G8 Summit, the president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, called on the more than 100 participants to open their “spirits and hearts to the search for the common good.”
Asked about the purpose of the meeting, the cardinal said it was not intended to propose solutions to the political leaders who will meet for the G8 Summit on issues such as water usage or food safety. Instead, Cardinal Tauran explained that the religious leaders came together because “as believers and despite their diversity, [we] desire to speak with one voice and offer a unique reflection on the challenges of today’s world.”
The world today is “constantly threatened by the violation of certain fundamental rights of the human person, the unbalance between rich and poor, illnesses, unresolved conflicts, the arms trade and corruption among the elite,” Cardinal Tauran added.
He went on to invite politicians to “an examination of conscience to reflect on what we have built and to clearly recognize our frailties.” “We also have the duty to call for vigilance and for a new lifestyle that demands a certain sobriety,” he said.
After encouraging the appropriate use of natural resources, Cardinal Tauran reaffirmed that “amidst the difficulties of the present moment, the Catholic Church has opted for hope and faith. But only together, as Christians and the faithful of other religions, can we help those who have the heavy responsibility of leading society, to discern to what degree their decisions are humane.”