Pope Lists 2 Key Ingredients for World Peace

Dialogue and Objective Morality, He Says in Message to Istanbul Conference

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 8, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI says that dialogue and an objective morality are the keys to transform the world into a place of peace.

The Pope expressed this in a message on the occasion of the second International Conference on Peace and Tolerance, organized by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople and Rabbi Arthur Schneier, president of the New York-based Appeal of Conscience Foundation.

The three-day congress in Istanbul, Turkey, ends Wednesday.

In his message, the Holy Father pointed out the keys «of peace and tolerance,» two themes «of vital importance.»

«Only through dialogue can there be hope that the world will become a place of peace and fraternity,» he said in the message transmitted to the participants in the meeting by Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and of the Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews.

«It is the duty of every person of good will, and especially of every believer, to help build a peaceful society and to overcome the temptation towards aggressive and futile confrontation between different cultures and ethnic groups,» Benedict XVI said.


However, the Bishop of Rome acknowledged: «This goal can only be achieved if at the heart of the economic, social and cultural development of each community is a proper respect for life and for the dignity of every human person.»

«Without an objective moral grounding, not even democracy is capable of ensuring a stable peace,» he stressed.

«In this sense, moral relativism undermines the workings of democracy, which by itself is not enough to guarantee tolerance and respect among peoples,» affirmed Benedict XVI, recalling a point that particularly concerned Pope John Paul II.

Of «fundamental importance therefore,» the message continued, is «to educate in truth, and to foster reconciliation wherever there has been injury.»

«Respect for the rights of others, bearing fruit in sincere and truthful dialogue, will indicate practical steps that can be taken,» concluded the message.

The conference in Istanbul is being held under the patronage of José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission.

The event aims, in the words of the organizers, «to promote collaboration between the three great monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, in order to favor reciprocal respect and mutual acceptance, and to achieve peaceful coexistence in a world that has suffered so cruelly through wars and conflicts.»

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