9/11 Makes “Culture of Solidarity” Imperative

Advocates Dialogue Among Believers of Different Religions

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CASTEL GANDOLFO, SEPT. 2, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II said that the new world scene that has emerged since the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center’s twin towers calls for a “culture of solidarity.”

“As the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001 have made clear, the building of a global culture of solidarity and respect for human dignity is one of the great moral tasks confronting humanity today,” the Holy Father said when receiving American bishops from Boston and Hartford.

“In the end, it is in the conversion of hearts and the spiritual renewal of humanity that the hope of a better tomorrow lies, and here the witness, example, and cooperation of religious believers has a unique role to play,” he emphasized.

Two days after the New York and Washington attacks, the Pope appealed to the world “to work for the dawn of a new era of international co-operation inspired by the highest ideals of solidarity, justice and peace.”

Therefore, when receiving the U.S. bishops in the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, the Pontiff encouraged the work of the Church in the United States committed “to making her voice heard in public debate in the defense of fundamental human rights, the dignity of the person, and the ethical requirements of a just and well-ordered society.”

“In a pluralistic nation like your own, this has necessarily involved practical cooperation with men and women of various religious beliefs, and with all people of good will, in the service of the common good,” he continued.

Lastly, the Holy Father urged the bishops to continue in their “efforts to promote ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue on every level of the Church’s life, not only as a means of overcoming misunderstandings between believers, but also for fostering a sense of common responsibility for the building of a future of peace.”

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