Pope’s Address to Interfaith Gathering

Recalling the long history of religious cooperation in the United States, Pope Benedict XVI encouraged a gathering of representatives from different religious communities to “persevere in their collaboration and thus enrich public life with the spiritual values that motivate your action in the world.” He challenged them to see religious dialogue “not only as a means of enhancing mutual understanding, but also as a way of serving society at large.”

He cautioned against pretending that differences among religions do not exist, or are not important:

Dear friends, in our attempt to discover points of commonality, perhaps we have shied away from the responsibility to discuss our differences with calmness and clarity. While always uniting our hearts and minds in the call for peace, we must also listen attentively to the voice of truth. In this way, our dialogue will not stop at identifying a common set of values, but go on to probe their ultimate foundation. We have no reason to fear, for the truth unveils for us the essential relationship between the world and God. We are able to perceive that peace is a “heavenly gift” that calls us to conform human history to the divine order. Herein lies the “truth of peace.”

The full text of his comments is available at:

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