World religious leaders write to G8
At the close yesterday in St. Petersburg, Russia, of the summit meeting of leaders of the world's most industrialized nations (G8), a declaration from participants in a world gathering of religious leaders was also read out. Their meeting was held in Moscow, Russia, from July 3 to 5.
"Let us keep the peace that God has given us" write representatives of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and Shintoism, highlighting the need for "religion to continue to be the true and solid foundation of peace and dialogue between civilizations," and for "it never to be used as a source of division and conflict."
The declaration identifies the challenges facing humanity today, from the defence of human life in all its stages to the relationship between justice and economics, without overlooking "the scandal of poverty." The text also condemns all forms of terrorism and extremism as well as the violence that seeks justification in religion. It also deplores the activities of pseudo-religious groups and movements "which attack the freedom and wellbeing of peoples."
The world meeting of religious leaders was organized by the inter-religious council of Russia. The Catholic Church delegation was presided by Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and also included Cardinal Paul Poupard, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue. In his contribution to the debate, Cardinal Poupard highlighted the necessity for religious and civil authorities throughout the world to collaborate for the good of humanity, and the need to face the challenges of globalization, while always respecting the dignity of human beings.