Pope John Paul II told a group of Catholic and Muslim scholars that the name of God cannot be used to justify violence.
Addressing the group of participants at a meeting promoted by the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue and the Organization for Islamic Culture and Communications in Teheran (Iran) on the theme of “Truth, Justice, Love, Freedom: Pillars of peace,” the Holy Father said that “today there is an especially urgent need for dialogue, understanding and cooperation between the world’s great religions, especially Christianity and Islam.”
“Religion is in fact called to build bridges between individuals, peoples and cultures, to be a sign of hope for humanity,” said the Pope.
“I appeal to you, and to all men and women of good will, to join your voices with mine as I repeat that the holy name of God must never be used to incite violence or terrorism, to promote hatred or exclusion,” he added.
“I am confident,” he concluded, “that your continued dialogue and cooperation, of which this Colloquium is an eloquent example, will do much to help Christians and Muslims to be ever more effective instruments of peace in our world. May Almighty God bless your efforts, and may He grant to all mankind the courage and strength to embrace truth, justice, love and freedom as true pillars of peace.”