Pope calls on all religions to “defuse the temptation of fundamentalism”
Pope Francis urged all the peoples of the world to put aside “partisan games” and all hostilities and to regard others as “like human beings” and “brothers and sisters in the faith”.
The Pope made this appeal Thursday at the Roman Colosseum during the closing ceremony of the Meeting of Religious for Peace, an annual event organized by the Sant’Egidio community.
“In the name of peace, please, in every religious tradition, let us defuse the temptation of fundamentalism and any tendency to consider a brother or sister as an enemy”, pleaded the Pope, speaking on a platform installed at the foot of the most emblematic monument.
“The suffering of others hardly disturbs us”
“If there are those who are plagued by hostility, factions and partisan games, we ourselves repeat Imam Ali’s words: ‘There are two types of people: your brothers and sisters in faith, and those who are like you. ‘ “, continued François, standing alongside the religious leaders.
They included the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, and the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Ahmed Al-Tayyeb. Outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel was also present.
“People as brothers and sisters. We proclaim it in the context of the Colosseum,” the Pope continued.
“Long ago, this amphitheater was the site of brutal mass entertainment,” he noted.
“Today, we too can be spectators of violence and war, of brothers killing brothers, like games that we watch from afar, indifferent, certain that they will never affect us,” lamented François.
“The suffering of others does not trouble us much. Not even the suffering of war victims, migrants, young boys and girls trapped in conflict,” he said.
The arms trade
The 84-year-old Pope also renewed his condemnation of the arms trade.
“War plays with human lives. Violence and the scourge of a booming arms trade, often moving in the shadows, fueled by underground cash flows,” he thundered.
Further on, the Pope spoke out against violence that also extends to the environment. He even quoted Bartholomew I, whose efforts to defend the environment have earned him the title of “Green Patriarch”.
At the end of the ceremony, the Pope and the other religious leaders signed a “call for peace”.
Their main message is that “religions can build peace and educate it”.
“Only peace is holy, and no one should ever use the name of God to bless terror and violence… People long for peace,” says the call.
“The disarmament process, currently blocked, must be relaunched,” he insisted.
The signatories also warn that “the proliferation of nuclear weapons is an incredible threat.”