.- Earlier today at the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI issued a powerful call for the world’s monotheistic religions to work together--through dialogue and mutual respect--for the sake of the common good of humanity.
The Pope’s words came during a meeting with delegates from the American Jewish Committee, with whom he urged increased efforts for “friendship between the Jewish people and the Catholic Church."
The Pope also recalled the recent 40th anniversary celebrations for the Vatican Council II Declaration "Nostra Aetate," pointing out that it "increased our shared desire to know each other better and to develop a dialogue characterized by mutual respect and love."
"Jews and Christian”, Benedict said, “have a rich common patrimony…In many ways this distinguishes our relationship as unique among the religions ofthe world. The Church can never forget that chosen people with whom God entered into a holy covenant.”
He stressed that "Judaism, Christianity and Islam believe in the one God, Creator of heaven and earth. It follows, therefore, that all three monotheistic religions are called to cooperate with one another for the common good of humanity, serving the cause of justice and peace in the world.”
“This”, the Holy Father said, “is especially important today when particular attention must be given to teaching respect for God, for religions and their symbols, and for holy sites and places of worship."
Concluding his brief address, Pope Benedict said that "religious leaders have a responsibility to work for reconciliation through genuine dialogue and acts of human solidarity.”
“I pray”, he told the group, “that your visit today may confirm you in you rendeavors to build bridges of understanding across all barriers."