Religious leaders gather in Naples

Click here: IINA – Religious leaders gather in Naples

Muslim, Jewish, Orthodox and other Christian leaders kicked off an annual inter-faith peace summit here yesterday with calls for a formal structure linking world religions. The Pope did not formally attend the summit, organized by the Sant’Egidio community, but met and lunched with the delegates as part of a pastoral visit to this impoverished southern Italian city, AFP reported. Speaking on the occasion, the Pope urged “reconciliation among peoples” ahead of the religious summit. “With respect for the differences between the various religions, we are all called to work for peace and reconciliation among peoples,” Benedict said in the meeting with leading Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Anglican, Orthodox and other Christian figures.

The Naples meeting is the largest inter-faith dialogue he has held as pope. “In the face of a world torn by conflicts where violence is sometimes justified in the name of God, it is important to reiterate that religions can never become vehicles of hate,” said the 80-year-old pontiff. “To the contrary, religions can and should offer precious resources to build a peaceful humanity – especially where tensions are strongest, freedom and respect for others is denied and men and women suffer the consequences of intolerance and incomprehension,” he said.

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