COLOGNE, Germany, AUG. 21, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI appealed to representatives of Islamic communities in Germany for a common commitment to prevent terrorism from poisoning relations between Muslims and Christians.
The Pope received the Muslim leaders on Saturday in the archbishop’s palace in Cologne.
Terrorists, the Holy Father said in his address, “wish to poison our relations, making use of all means, including religion, to oppose every attempt to build a peaceful, fair and serene life together.”
According to the Bishop of Rome, “terrorism of any kind is a perverse and cruel decision which shows contempt for the sacred right to life and undermines the very foundations of all civil society.”
He continued: “If together we can succeed in eliminating from hearts any trace of rancor, in resisting every form of intolerance and in opposing every manifestation of violence, we will turn back the wave of cruel fanaticism that endangers the lives of so many people and hinders progress towards world peace.
“The task is difficult but not impossible. The believer knows that, despite his weakness, he can count on the spiritual power of prayer.”
Ridvan Cakir, president of the Turkish Islamic Union of Germany, represented the group in delivering a greeting to the Pope.
“All religions and their faithful have different sensibilities,” Cakir said. “We are convinced that interreligious and intercultural dialogue is of extraordinary importance for a peaceful world.”
The Muslim representative also said he favored Turkey’s entry in the European Union.