Catholics Must Promote Dialogue in Response to Terrorism, Pope Says

Address to Members of D.C.´s John Paul II Cultural Center

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 7, 2001 ( John Paul II says the terrorism hitting the United States highlights the importance of dialogue and respect between cultures and religions.

The Holy Father expressed this message to some 90 members, administrators and benefactors of the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center, whom he received Tuesday afternoon.

The center was inaugurated last March on the campus of Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

The cultural center ( includes a museum with exhibitions, as well as conferences.

«The tragic events that have shaken the international community in the past two months have made us all aware once more of the fragility of peace and the need to build a culture of respectful dialogue and cooperation between all the members of the human family,» the Pontiff said during his meeting with the American Catholics.

The Holy Father added that he is confident «that the Catholic community in the United States will continue to uphold the value of understanding and dialogue among the followers of the world´s religions.»

«The Church´s commitment to this dialogue is ultimately inspired by her conviction that the Gospel message has the power to enlighten all cultures and to act as a saving leaven of unity and peace for all humanity,» he said.

He added: «In a world of growing cultural and religious pluralism, such dialogue is essential for overcoming tragic conflicts inherited from the past, and for ensuring that the name of the one God become increasingly what it is: a name of peace and a summons to peace.»

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