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Pope Francis listens as Cardinal Dolan points out features of the the 9/11 Memorial

ANSA - EPA/CJ GUNTHER

Pope Prays for Peace at Ground Zero

Says We Must Uproot From Our Hearts All Feelings of Hatred, Vengeance and Resentment

In a solemn interreligious ceremony today at Ground Zero, site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Pope Francis said this place points not only to the “mindset which knows only violence, hatred and revenge” but also to “a hymn to the triumph of life over the prophets of destruction and death, to goodness over evil, to reconciliation and unity over hatred and division.”

The ceremony included reflections from a rabbi and an imam, as well as several other religious leaders, and concluded with children of many races holding hands and singing St. Francis’ Peace Prayer.

“Grief is palpable” here, the Holy Father said. And the waters of the memorial “flowing toward that empty pit” remind of “yesterday’s tears, but also of all the tears still being shed today.”

But, the Pontiff said, “It is a source of great hope that in this place of sorrow and remembrance I can join with leaders representing the many religious traditions which enrich the life of this great city.”

“For all our differences and disagreements, we can live in a world of peace,” he affirmed. “In opposing every attempt to create a rigid uniformity, we can and must build unity on the basis of our diversity of languages, cultures and religions, and lift our voices against everything which would stand in the way of such unity.”

To bring this about, the Holy Father said, we must “uproot from our hearts all feelings of hatred, vengeance and resentment.”

And this, he said, “is only possible as a gift from heaven.”

He asked those gathered to spend a moment in silence and prayer “each in his or her own way.”

“Let us implore from on high the gift of commitment to the cause of peace. Peace in our homes, our families, our schools and our communities. Peace in all those places where war never seems to end. Peace for those faces which have known nothing but pain. Peace throughout this world which God has given us as the home of all and a home for all. Simply PEACE.”

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On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full text: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/pope-s-address-at-ground-zero

About Kathleen Naab

United States

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