.- The president of the Pontifical Council for Culture and for Inter-religious Dialogue, Cardinal Paul Poupard, said this week that religions are not âpart of the problemâ of violence in todayâs world but rather are part of âthe solution.â
During a speech on the pontificate of Benedict XVI at the King Juan Carlos University in Spain, Cardinal Poupard explained that the current trend to see religion as the reason for terrorism, lack of security, AIDS in Africa, and the conflict in the Middle East and in Iraqâ is the result of a âspiritual climateâ that aims to return âto paganism in order to achieve a peaceful and tolerant society.â
The cardinal also warned against the dangers which result when âreason is deprived of any moral and religious reference,â pointing to such examples as the bombing of Hiroshima, the forgotten wars of Africa, the death of the unborn and the manipulation of embryos for research.
The cardinal emphasized that, âinter religious dialogueâ is a âvital necessityâ for the future of humanity, and that culture plays an important role in providing a way for people to come together and address âthe great questions about human existence.â
âAuthentic inter-religious dialogue cannot take place if it is not built upon the foundation of culture,â Cardinal Poupard said. âAll inter-cultural dialogue is dialogue about the great religious questions,â he added. This is possible, the cardinal stressed, because despite all the differences, mankind is of âthe same one, unique essence.â âHuman nature enables dialogue between cultures,â he insisted.