Bartholomew: faiths can bring freedom, equality and fraternity to the world
Speaking in Abu Dhabi on the anniversary of the Document on Human Fraternity, the Ecumenical Patriarch stressed that “Religions cannot replace politics and do not aim to do so. However, they can inspire civic and political activities, and raise awareness to enhance social cohesion, the protection of creation, sustainable development and the establishment of a culture of fraternity.”
Abu Dhabi (AsiaNews) – Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew spoke today at a meeting in Abu Dhabi marking the first anniversary of the Document on Human Fraternity.
In his address, he focused on the task that religions can and must have in today's world, as long as they seek dialogue and do not yield to fundamentalism.
In the current crisis caused by scientific and technological progress unable to provide answers to humanity’s deepest existential problems, religions can play a positive role and be an ally of political institutions in the "sacred task” of promoting “freedom, equality and brotherhood”.
“Never before have we possessed so much scientific knowledge and acted so violently and destructively against nature and our fellow human beings,” said Bartholomew.
“The autonomy of science and technology from man's vital needs together with globalisation,” along with scientism and a lack of respect for nature “constitute a great danger not only for a society based on solidarity, but even more for the survival of the life on earth.”
“Religions cannot replace politics and do not aim to do so,” he noted. “However, they can inspire civic and political activities, and raise awareness to enhance social cohesion, the protection of creation, sustainable development and the establishment of a culture of fraternity. They can persistently propose solutions that reject war and violence, and fight instead for tolerance and solidarity.”
Noting that "there is no peace in the world, without peace between religions, and no peace between religions, without interfaith dialogue,” the Patriarch explained that in the Human Fraternity Document "we find the compass that guides the path towards universal peace and a culture of solidarity.”
This includes “reconciliation and fraternity between believers and non-believers, and among all people of good will; the rejection of violence and blind extremism; kinship and cooperation between East and West, between North and South; and faith in God that unites divided hearts and elevates the human soul.”
Lastly, “We have the destination; we know the way. What we need now is joint action and determination to move forward. For us believers, this effort means to be true witness to the essence of our faith in the merciful God.”