Pope Aims to Pursue Dialogue With Other Civilizations

Promises to Reach Out to Diverse Religions

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VATICAN CITY, APRIL 20, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The new Pope, Benedict XVI, says he will do everything possible to continue dialogue with the world’s various civilizations.

In the first lengthy message of his pontificate, the Holy Father, 78, also spoke of his commitment to social development and the dignity of the human being.

The message, written in Latin and delivered to cardinals this morning at a Mass in the Sistine Chapel, is addressed “to all, also to those who follow other religions or who simply seek an answer to the fundamental question of life and have not yet found it.”

“I turn to all with simplicity and affection, to assure them that the Church wishes to continue to engage with them in an open and sincere dialogue, in search of the true good of man and society,” affirmed the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who succeeded John Paul II as Pope.

“I invoke from God peace and unity for the human family and declare the readiness of all Catholics to cooperate for a genuine social development, respectful of the dignity of every human being,” he said.

“I will spare no efforts and devotion to continue the promising dialogue undertaken by my venerable Predecessors with the various civilizations,” the new Pope said, “so that from reciprocal understanding conditions will flow a better future for all.”

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