With regard to the recent formation of a Higher Committee for achieving the goals contained in the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together, which he signed last February in the United Arab Emirates together with the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, His Holiness Pope Francis was pleased to learn of the initiative and has observed: “Although sadly evil, hatred, and division often make news, there is a hidden sea of goodness that is growing and leads us to hope in dialogue, reciprocal knowledge and the possibility of building, together with the followers of other religions and all men and women of goodwill, a world of fraternity and peace.”
The Holy Father encourages the efforts of the Committee to spread knowledge of the Document; he thanks the United Arab Emirates for the concrete commitment shown on behalf of human fraternity and he expresses the hope that similar initiatives can spring up throughout the world.
Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar on February 4, 2019, signed the Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together. The signing following the Holy Father’s speech to the Global Conference on Human Fraternity in Abu Dhabi, a key element in the Holy Father’s February 3-5 apostolic visit to the United Arab Emirates.
“We cannot honor the Creator without cherishing the sacredness of every person and of every human life: each person is equally precious in the eyes of God, who does not look upon the human family with a preferential gaze that excludes, but with a benevolent gaze that includes,” the Holy Father said in that speech. “Thus, to recognize the same rights for every human being is to glorify the name of God on earth. In the name of God the Creator, therefore, every form of violence must be condemned without hesitation, because we gravely profane God’s name when we use it to justify hatred and violence against a brother or sister. No violence can be justified in the name of religion.”