05/12/2006, 00.00
VATICAN
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Deny terrorism any moral justification, says the Vatican

The representative of the Holy See at the UN tells the General Assembly that religions can and must play a role in favour of pluralism, dialogue and understanding cultural differences. He reiterates the importance of the principle of reciprocity.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The Vatican reaffirmed its position that terrorists should be denied any moral justification for their acts and called on the United Nations to encourage religions to make an important contribution in favour of pluralism, dialogue and understanding cultural differences.

Mgr Celestino Migliore, permanent observer of the Holy See at the United Nations, stressed these points yesterday at the 60th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations during informal consultations of the plenary on a counter-terrorism strategy, this according to a statement released by the Vatican Information Service today.

In his speech, Mgr Migliore renewed the Holy See's support for Security Council resolution 1624 which both condemns "in the strongest terms the incitement of terrorist acts" and any "attempts at the justification or glorification (apologie) of terrorist acts".

In doing so he reaffirmed the principle of denying any moral value or justification to terrorist acts, principle that was asserted at the January 2002 Assisi inter-faith meeting whose organisation John Paul II so much encouraged. Now as then, the Holy See noted that whilst "political, social and economic exclusion" might be a cause of terrorism, it does not make it any more permissible.

The Vatican diplomat said that religions, in addition to denying terrorism any ethical justification, are also "on their own terms [. . .] called to create, support and promote the precondition of every encounter, every dialogue, and of every understanding of pluralism and cultural difference. That [. . .] is the dignity of the human person.

"Our common human dignity is a true precondition because it comes before every other consideration or methodological principle, even those of international law. We see it in the 'Golden Rule', found throughout the religions of the world. Another description of this concept is reciprocity."

Mgr Migliore finally observed how "the skilful use of the internet and mass media make terrorism a trans-national, globally coordinated phenomenon, requiring therefore an equally powerful, globally coordinated solution."

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