Tirana, Albania, Sep 21, 2014 / 08:21 am
The “conviction that truth has its own power of attraction,” said Pope Francis, negates the need for those secure in their faith to impose their beliefs on others.
These were some of the remarks delivered during his meeting with the religious leaders of Albania as part of his Sept. 21 Apostolic Journey to the country.
Stressing the importance of promoting religious freedom, Pope Francis emphasized the need to foster an attitude which regards “every man and woman, even those of different religious traditions, not as rivals, less still enemies, but rather as brothers and sisters.”
“Deep down, we are all pilgrims on this earth, and on this pilgrim journey, as we yearn for truth and eternity, we do not live autonomous and self-sufficient individual lives...We need each other, and are entrusted to each other’s care.”
The Holy Father also spoke of the importance of promoting an attitude geared toward the common good.
“Whenever adherence to a specific religious tradition gives birth to service that shows conviction, generosity and concern for the whole of society without making distinctions, then there too exists an authentic and mature living out of religious freedom.”
“The more men and women are at the service of others,” he said, “the greater their freedom!”
Reflecting on societies which seek to bring aid to those poor and in need, Pope Francis exclaimed: “How great is the need for the human heart to be firmly fixed on the deepest meaning of experiences in life and rooted in a rediscovery of hope!”
He noted how men and women, inspired by “the values of their respective religious traditions,” can offer their contributions. “This is truly a fertile land offering much fruit, also in the field of interreligious dialogue,” he said.