Expo 2017: “Review One’s Way of Living,” says Cardinal Turkson

Inter-Religious Meeting Organized by the Holy See

Expo2017, Astana, Interreligious meeting @Twitter Dicastery

Expo2017, Astana, Interreligious meeting @Twitter Dicastery

“Every believer of the planet must review his way of living,” said Cardinal Peter Turkson, who also spoke of “spiritual energy,” which is often more important than “technological solutions.”

The Prefect of the Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development gave an address during Expo 2017 at Astana, in Kazakhstan, dedicated this year to the topic of the future of energy, reported in Italian Vatican Radio on August 31, 2017. The Holy See is present there, with a pavilion entitled “Energy for the Common Good: Take Care of Our Common Home.” During Expo, the Vatican organized an inter-religious meeting on the theme of Expo, but also to discuss the issue of peace. At the end of the day, a common Document of intentions on the environment, with all the religious leaders present at Expo, will be read.

“We are here in fact to promote human life on earth, in its relations between individuals and nations, but also so that there is a situation that makes possible peaceful coexistence on earth,” explained Cardinal Turkson on Vatican Radio.

“As religious leaders, we cannot offer solutions but only a vision of the world inspired by faith,” said the Cardinal.

“We try to bring about what Gaudium et Spes states: that the Church always seeks to show her affection for humanity, by entering into dialogue with humanity in what concerns its aspirations and its problems,” he added

At Expo “we want to tell a little history of energy that, for us, is spiritual energy,” he said. The Holy See’s pavilion hopes to attract “attention to the fact that there are also energy in all of us, an energy that helps somewhat to orient our gestures, our actions and our decisions. It’s what we call “spiritual energy” and we give the example of Mother Teresa, who said that one finds in prayer the best way to render service: we mention Indira Gandhi, we mention Nelson Mandela, their spirit of service as leaders of their countries,” he explained.

The importance of this “spiritual energy” is often neglected, said the Prefect. “They are things that we easily neglect thinking that all the solutions are technological and can be found in certain developments of science, which are also important, but cannot exhaust — so to speak — the problems and expectations of humanity.”

In regard to the inter-religious meeting, the Cardinal said that “given that the Holy See was the only religious State invited,” the Vatican wished “to use the invitation . . . to involve other beliefs, other religions in this event.”

“Therefore, we thought of organizing this discussion on Expo’s theme, but from the inter-religious point of view. So we invited a representative of Judaism, a representative of Islam, a representative of the Ecumenical Council of Religions and, consequently, there will be a representative of Anglicans, of Lutherans and of Russian Orthodox.”

“When we thought of organizing this event, the crisis of North Korea didn’t exist yet, but there was the message of the different parts of the world, which led Pope Francis to speak of a “third piecemeal world war,” he continued. “Consequently, there is always a menace to peace, it’s why we hope to use this event linked to this symbolic place in the world, this pyramid of Astana, to re-launch the voice of religions for peace, and for respect of Creation,” concluded the Cardinal.

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester

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