Religions are messengers of peace and reconciliation, asserts cardinal

.- Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, stressed in his speech to the 63rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York that “Religions, despite the weaknesses and contradictions of their members, carry a message of reconciliation and peace."

In his Wednesday speech on the theme, “Culture of Peace, the prelate stressed that the U.N., “by its nature and mission, should be a school of peace.”  Here, we must "learn to think and act while always bearing in mind the legitimate interests of all sides." Member countries, he continued, “must strive to overcome the simplistic logic of the power of force and replace it with the power of law and the wisdom of peoples, becoming 'builders of peace'.”

Therefore, he added, “in this demanding task, individual believers and communities of believers have their place and their role to play.  Religions, despite the weaknesses and contradictions of their members, carry a message of reconciliation and peace."

Having stressed that believers must be "coherent and credible," the Cardinal said that Christians “cannot use religion to attack freedom of conscience, justify violence, spread hatred and fanaticism or undermine political and religious authority."

He went on: "Believers, in contributing to public debate and participating in the societies to which they belong, feel themselves called to co-operate in promoting the common good, which rests on a platform of values shared by everyone, believers and non-believers alike: the sacredness of life and the dignity of human beings, respect for liberty of conscience and of religion, practice of responsible freedom, acceptance of different opinions, correct use of reason, appreciation for democratic life and care for natural resources, to mention but a few," he said.

Concluding his speech, Cardinal Tauran called on his audience to “find the path to a safer and more united world,” without renouncing their “cultural and religious identity.”  We cannot “rest content with mere tolerance and vague commitments, let us make fraternity more than an ideal, a reality!"


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