Loading
Religion is key to protecting human life and promoting peace, Pope says to European leaders
Religion is key to protecting human life and promoting peace, Pope says to European leaders

.- Addressing 350 participants at the Conference of the Ministers of the Interior of the European Union, Pope John Paul II told European leaders that religion in public life is key to protecting human life and to promoting peace in the world.

The Conference has as its theme, “Interreligious Dialogue: a Factor of Social Cohesion in Europe and an Instrument of Peace in the Mediterranean Region.”

The Pope told the ministers that this theme “recognizes the importance of religion, not only for safeguarding human life but also for promoting peace.”

The Pope said that building spaces of freedom, security and justice “involves seeking new solutions for the problems linked with respect for life, with the right of the family, with emigration; problems which must be considered, not only in the European perspective but also in the context of the dialogue with the countries of the Mediterranean area.”

It also requires, he continued  “the awareness of being one family of persons called to build a more just and fraternal world,” an awareness present “above all in the three great monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.”

“In this regard, how can we not note with a certain sadness that the faithful of these three religions, whose historical roots are in the Middle East, have not yet established among them a fully peaceful coexistence precisely where they were born?,” the Pope also said.

John Paul II also said that “current efforts at intercultural and interreligious dialogue” in Europe do not exclude “an adequate recognition, even legislative, of the specific religious traditions in which every people is rooted.”

The Crucifix in public

In a clear reference to the debate sparked in Italy concerning the presence of crucifixes in public schools, the Pontiff said “the recognition of a specific religious patrimony of a society calls for the recognition of the symbols which qualify it.”

“If, in the name of an incorrect interpretation of the principle of equality, one were to renounce expressing such a religious tradition and the cultural values linked to it, the fragmentation of today's multiethnic and multicultural societies could easily be transformed in a factor of instability and, therefore, of conflict.”

The Post Sept. 11 Europe

Turning to the question of initiatives for peace, the Pope recalled that, “following the dramatic events such as the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, even representatives of different religions multiplied their initiatives in favor of peace.”

He pointed out that at the end of the January 24, 2002 Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi, religious leaders issued a declaration committing themselves to “uprooting the causes of terrorism, defending the right of every person to a dignified life according to their own cultural identity and to freely form a family, sustaining one another in a common effort to defeat selfishness, abuse of power, hatred and violence, learning from past experience that peace without justice is not true peace.”

The Holy Father concluded  repeating what he said in Assisi: “God Himself has placed in men's hearts an instinctive desire to live in peace and harmony. It is a longing that is more intimate and tenacious than any instinct for violence.” 

“Whoever uses religion to foment violent contradicts its most authentic and profound inspiration.”


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?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
18

Liturgical Calendar

April 18, 2014

Friday of the Passion of the Lord (Good Friday)

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42

Gospel
Date
04/18/14
04/17/14
04/16/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Is 52:13-53:12
Second Reading:: Heb 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Gospel:: Jn 18:1-19:42

Homily of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42

Homily
Date
04/18/14
04/17/14
04/16/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: