Loading
Pope sings for peace at site of Muslim-Christian clashes
Pope Benedict together with numerous religious leaders in Nazareth
Pope Benedict together with numerous religious leaders in Nazareth

.- Muslims, Christians, Jewish and Druze leaders met with Pope Benedict XVI in the auditorium of the Shrine of the Annunciation this afternoon. Thanking the leaders for their efforts to help form younger generations dedicated to peace, the Pope appealed for their cooperation in easing tensions over religious places of worship in Galilee.

Benedict XVI began by noting that it is a blessing to be able to visit Nazareth, the place where the angel Gabriel announced Jesus' birth and where Jesus was raised.

Recalling these historical events led the Pope to reflect on the conviction that “the world is a gift of God, and that God has entered the twists and turns of human history.” This perspective is the source of Christians' belief that creation has “a reason and a purpose,” he explained.

Peace, the Pope noted, is “a gift of God, yet it cannot be achieved without human endeavor.” However, he said, “We cannot do whatever we please with the world; rather, we are called to conform our choices to the subtle yet nonetheless perceptible laws inscribed by the Creator upon the universe... .”

The fact that the Pope is in Galilee, a religiously diverse region of Israel, gave him the opportunity to call for the numerous religions to “promote a culture of peace.” This can be done, he asserted, through educating the younger generations in “the deeper spiritual values of our common humanity.”

The Holy Father pledged Christians' eager participation in joining “Jews, Muslims, Druze and people of other religions in wishing to safeguard children from fanaticism and violence while preparing them to be builders of a better world.”

The issue of violence surrounding religious sites was also touched on by the Pope.

In the late 1990s, tensions flared in the square that holds the Basilica of the Annunciation because of plans by Muslims to build a large mosque that would have blocked the view of the basilica. The confrontation over the Israeli government-approved mosque brewed over into clashes between Muslims and Christians just before Pope John Paul II's visit in 1999. In 2003 the Israeli government intervened by sending in troops to demolish the mosque's foundations.

Pope Benedict, aware of the conflict, said in his speech today, “I know that you accept cheerfully and with a greeting of peace the many pilgrims who flock to Galilee. I encourage you to continue exercising mutual respect as you work to ease tensions concerning places of worship, thus assuring a serene environment for prayer and reflection here and throughout Galilee.”

At the end of the meeting, the Pope smiled as the leaders joined hands and sang "Shalom, Salam, May the Lord's peace be with you"--a song composed and led by Rabbi Alon Goshen-Gottstein.

Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi was asked if this marked the first time on the trip that the Pope prayed with Muslim and Jewish leaders. He replied, "I'd say that the rabbi had a ingenius and creative idea because nobody can object to singing peace."


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Interview with Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See on the persecution of Christians
New book 'The Vatican unknown'
A Look at India from Rome
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Aug
30

Liturgical Calendar

August 30, 2014

Saturday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 25:14-30

Gospel
Date
08/30/14
08/29/14
08/28/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: 1 Cor 1: 26-31
Gospel:: Mt 25: 14-30

Saint of the Day

St. Jeanne Jugan »

Saint
Date
08/30/14
08/28/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 25:14-30

Homily
Date
08/30/14
08/29/14
08/28/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: