ADDRESS OF HIS
HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II
I am pleased to welcome to the Vatican the distinguished members of a delegation from the World Islamic League taking part in meetings sponsored by the Community of Sant’Egidio. It is my hope that your discussions will promote better understanding between Muslims and Christians and more effective cooperation in the cause of peace.
At a time when conflicts and wars are causing immense suffering to members of the human family throughout the world, there is an urgent need for a witness by the followers of the different religions to our common convictions regarding the dignity of man. This is especially the case in those situations where religious differences have been invoked as a motive for animosity, violence and contempt for the rights of others. Christians and Muslims alike are called to combat the misuse of religion and to foster reconciliation and dialogue. As I said to the followers of Islam gathered in Assisi earlier this month, at the special prayer meeting for peace in Europe: "Your presence... proclaims that religious belief is a source of mutual understanding and harmony, and that only the perversion of religious sentiments leads to discrimination and conflict" (John Paul II, Address to Representatives of the European Islamic Community in the Sacred Convent of Saint Francis in Assisi, 3 [10 Jan. 1993]).
Dear friends: I am convinced that the various religions, now and in the future, must play an important part in preserving peace and in building a society worthy of man (cf. John Paul II, Centesimus Annus, 60) . Your presence today is a sign of your desire to work together in order to create the necessary conditions for a just and peaceful world. I encourage you to continue your dialogue with patience and perseverance, and I cordially invoke upon you the choicest blessings of the Most High God.
© Copyright 1993 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana