What is it like to meet Pope Francis

Interfaith meeting: “We need peace! More peace! "

Rome - Stefanie Stahlhofen

The interreligious peace meetings of the Catholic community of Sant'Egidio now have a long tradition - they have existed since 1986. This year representatives of the major religions met in Rome, on Capitol Square. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the number of participants was limited, some could not come, such as Anglican primate Justin Welby. All participants came with mouth and nose protection - including Pope Francis. Due to the corona, there was always a certain safety margin. The fact that the meeting took place despite the pandemic was a strong sign. The speeches of the participants were also impressive. Pope Francis stressed in his address, referring to his most recent letter "Fratelli tutti", that the "commandment of peace" is deeply inscribed in all religious traditions:

"Religions serve peace and brotherhood"

“Believers have understood that religious difference is no justification for indifference or enmity. On the contrary, by faith we can become “craftsmen” of peace and no longer remain lazy spectators of the evil of war and hatred. The religions serve peace and brotherhood. "

Flaming appeal for peace

The head of the Catholic Church therefore called on religious leaders and believers alike to persist in praying for peace, never to come to terms with war, and to act with the "gentle power of faith" to put an end to conflicts in the world. Francis held a fiery one Appeal to everyone to never get tired or even indifferent in the pursuit of peace:

“We need peace! More peace! We must not remain indifferent "

“We need peace! More peace! We cannot remain indifferent. 'The world today has a burning thirst for peace. In many countries one suffers from wars that are often ignored and yet are always the cause of suffering and poverty. ' (Address at the World Day of Prayer for Peace, Assisi, September 20, 2016). The world, politics and public opinion run the risk of getting used to the evils of war as a natural companion in the history of peoples. "

Brotherhood is the motto

Instead of dwell on theoretical discussions, action must be taken, demanded Pope Francis - for example with reference to the suffering of Flüchltingen. In addition to the diverse negative consequences of wars, he also recalled injustices in connection with the corona pandemic, such as a lack of access to treatment. He warned the policymakers that ending wars was an "unavoidable duty of all political leaders before God." He also emphasized once again that fraternity and solidarity pave the way for peace and understanding:

"To moderate the language of politics and propaganda and develop concrete ways to peace"

“The fraternity that grows from knowing that we all belong to one human race must permeate the lives of peoples, communities, rulers and international associations. In this way, it will promote the awareness that we can only save each other if we meet, negotiate, stop fighting each other, reconcile, moderate the language of politics and propaganda and develop concrete ways to peace ", he said, referring to his letter, "Fratelli tutti".

Sant'Egidio, too, was inspired by the latest Pope's encyclical for the interreligious peace meeting: The motto of the meeting in Rome was: "Nobody can save himself alone - peace and brotherhood". Peace is only possible through cooperation, dialogue and brotherhood, was a continuous warning to all other speakers from Christian denominations, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism. In addition, the Pope continued, the meeting in Rome clearly showed “that the religions do not want war, but rather all who religiously commit violence seek transfiguration, punish lies ".

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insults to religions and the abuse of religious symbols in the name of freedom of expression. World peace is not a noble goal when everyone trusts in God and there is brotherhood among people.

The chief rabbi of France, Haim Korsia, also promoted dialogue and community: “Our fraternity must be practiced in the encounter and also in the debate, sometimes even in a lively discussion - but always in the hope of meeting the other, too to find yourself. "

Among the other speakers of the religious representatives on Capitol Square in Rome were Patriarch Bartholomew I, Honorary Head of World Orthodoxy, the Japanese Buddhist Shoten Minegishi, and Karmaljit Singh Dillon as a representative of the Sikh religion.

After the speeches of the religious representatives, the dead of the pandemic and the wars this year were commemorated in a minute's silence. In a final signed common appeal for peace it says: “It is time again for the bold vision that peace is possible, that a world without war is not an illusion. That is why we want to say again: 'Never again war!' '. The religious leaders appealed to those in power to promote life instead of weapons, but also to moderate their language and not to divide it with words.

(vatican news - sst)