Vatican Raps Iran- Urges Muslims to End Terrorism
MESSAGE FOR THE END OF RAMADAN
‘Id al-Fitr 1428 H. / 2007 a.d.
Christians and Muslims:
called to promote a culture of peace
In the troubled times we are passing through, religious believers have, as servants of the Almighty, a duty above all to work in favour of peace, by showing respect for the convictions of individuals and communities everywhere through freedom of religious practice. Religious freedom, which must not be reduced to mere freedom of worship, is one of the essential aspects of freedom of conscience, which is the right of every individual and a cornerstone of human rights. It takes into account the requirement that a culture of peace and solidarity between men can be built in which everybody can be firmly engaged in the construction of an increasingly fraternal society, doing everything one can to reject, denounce and refuse every recourse to violence which can never be motivated by religion, since it wounds the very image of God in man. We know that violence, especially terrorism which strikes blindly and claims countless innocent victims, is incapable of resolving conflicts and leads only to a deadly chain of destructive hatred, to the detriment of mankind and of societies…
In this spirit, the pursuit and intensification of dialogue between Christians and Muslims must be considered important, in both educational and cultural dimensions. Thus all forces can be mobilised in the service of mankind and humanity so that the younger generations do not become cultural or religious blocs opposed to one another, but genuine brothers and sisters in humanity. Dialogue is the tool which can help us to escape from the endless spiral of conflict and multiple tensions which mark our societies, so that all peoples can live in serenity and peace and with mutual respect and harmony among their component groups.
Dear Muslim Friends, once again I give you my warmest greetings on the occasion of your festival and I ask the God of Peace and Mercy to give you all, good health, serenity and prosperity.
Pope Benedict also met with a top official of the World Jewish Congress yesterday and lashed out at the Iranian regime on their hate speech against Jews:
The pope ‘recognised the question of Iran as an issue of big concern for him,’ Stern said, adding that Benedict pledged ‘to find how the message can be made, through education, to avoid the hatred of the Iranian leadership towards the Jews and Israel.’
‘He expressed his concern over the rise in anti-Semitism. The Holy Father said he was very aware of it (and wants to) find a way to make it less prominent through education,’ Stern said.
The pontiff said ‘cooperation between the Jewish people and the Church is a matter that is close to his heart,’ Stern said, describing the meeting as ‘interesting and cordial.’