Pontiff Recalls Religions' Duty to Promote Peace

LYON, France, NOV. 26, 2008 (Zenit.org).- Religions have a duty to promote coexistence and reconciliation, Benedict XVI is recalling.

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The Pope affirmed this in a message delivered on his behalf by his secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, to the 83rd Social Weeks of France.

This annual event began in 1904 in the spirit of Pope Leo XIII’s «Rerum Novarum.» This year’s theme was «Religions: Threats or Hopes for Our Societies.»

According to the papal message, the «free exercise of the life of faith and the life of democracy» is founded on the distinction between the spheres of politics and religion.

States, he affirmed, cannot take upon themselves the «final responsibility» to respond to «the aspirations of persons, communities and peoples» within a «social order respectful of the dignity of the person.»

The Holy Father emphasized on the other hand that religions have the «duty» to propose a vision of faith that excludes intolerance, discrimination and conflicts, and manifests «absolute respect for the truth,» motivating «coexistence and reconciliation» and promoting «the rights of the human person.»

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