12/18/2006, 00.00
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Pope: peace in Holy Land from shared commitment of Jews, Christians and Muslims

Benedict XVI again underlined the fundamental importance of inter-faith dialogue and “concrete gestures of reconciliation”.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Peace in the Holy Land is tied to dialogue and cooperation among Jews, Christians and Muslims and their ability to make gestures of reconciliation: this reveals that the future lies not in hatred and violence but in understanding and peaceful cooperation. The Middle East, especially the Holy Land, featured again in the thoughts of the pope as he made the most of an opportunity presented by a visit of the Jewish “B’nai B’rith International” to make another call for inter-faith dialogue and conciliation.

Benedict XVI said: “Jews and Christians are called to work together for the healing of the world by promoting the spiritual and moral values grounded in our faith convictions. If we give a clear example of fruitful cooperation, our voice in responding to the needs of the human family will be all the more convincing.”

He continued: “On the occasion of your visit, I reiterate my unfailing hope and prayer for peace in the Holy Land. Peace can only come about if it is the concern of Jews, Christians and Muslims alike, expressed in genuine inter-religious dialogue and concrete gestures of reconciliation. All believers are challenged to show that it is not hatred and violence, but understanding and peaceful cooperation which open the door to that future of justice and peace which is God’s promise and gift.”

Benedict XVI drew attention to the “remarkable transformation” in Jewish-Catholic relations since the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration Nostra Aetate in 1965, saying: “It is this rich heritage of faith which enables our communities not only to enter into dialogue, but also to be partners in working together for the good of the human family. Our troubled world needs the witness of people of good will inspired by the truth, revealed on the first page of the Scriptures, that all men and women are created in the image of God and thus possess an inalienable dignity and worth.”

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