In his closing remarks to the 7th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, Pope Francis urges all religions and societies to involve women and young people in the quest for world peace.
By Francesca Merlo
Closing the 7th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan on 38e Apostolic journey abroad, Pope Francis thanked those present to come from so many different parts of the world.
“We walked this road together,” he said. The Holy Father added that the commitment of members to the service of dialogue during the conference is more valuable than ever “as the problems of the pandemic have been compounded by the utter madness of war.”
Messengers of peace and unity
The pope then recalled his motto for the visit, “Messengers of Peace and Unity”noting the deliberate decision to pluralize the word messengers.
“After the events of September 11, 2001, there was a need to collectively respond to the incendiary atmosphere that terrorist violence sought to create and which threatened to make religion a terrain of conflict,” he said. “Pseudo-religious terrorism, extremism, radicalism and nationalism, disguised as religious, nevertheless continue to fuel fears and concerns about religion. authentic and inalienable essence of religion.
Voice to those who want to be heard
Kazakhstan, in the heart of the great and pivotal continent of Asia, was the natural place for our meeting, the pope continued.
Pope Francis stressed that “those who legitimately desire to express their convictions must be protected, always and everywhere”.
He added that, unfortunately, “many people are still today persecuted and discriminated against because of their faith”, and on the contrary “we must ensure that religious freedom is never a mere abstraction but a concrete right”. .
The pope explained that it is for this reason that the Catholic Church also believes in the unity of the human family. The Church believes that all “humanity forms but one community” and “wants to continue to do so, because the path of interreligious dialogue is a shared path towards peace and for peace; as such, it is necessary and irrevocable. »
Pope Francis then underlined three words in the Declaration of our Congress.
The first word is a synthesis of everything, the expression of a call from the heart, the dream and the goal of our journey: peace!
“Peace is urgently needed, because nowadays every military conflict or hot spot of tension and confrontation will necessarily have a detrimental ‘domino effect’ and seriously undermine the system of international relations.”
On the other hand, the pope continued, peace “is more than the absence of war: it cannot be reduced to the maintenance of the balance of power between opposing forces nor does it result from despotic domination, but it is aptly called ‘the effect of justice’.
The Pope added that “our quest for peace must therefore increasingly involve women”: the second word.
He also underlined the importance of giving women more prominent positions and responsibilities, before introducing the third and final word: youth.
Pope Francis stressed that “thereYoung people are messengers of peace and unityin the present and in the future.”
They are the ones who, more than anyone, call for peace and respect for the common home of creation, he added.
Concluding his speech, Pope Francis asked all religious leaders present at the Kazakhstan Congress to “be open to tomorrow while being aware of the sufferings of yesterday,” as we “continue on this path, walking together on earth.” as children of heaven, weavers of hope and artisans of harmony, harbingers of peace and unity.”