BBC NEWS | Europe | Pope decries 'religious' violence
Pope Benedict XVI has urged world religious leaders not to allow God's name to be used to justify violence.
He said: "religions must never become vehicles for hatred". He also said that the Catholic Church would continue to seek dialogue to bridge the gap between the cultures:
"In a world wounded by conflicts, where violence is
justified in God's name, it's important to repeat that religion can
never become a vehicle of hatred, it can never be used in God's name to
justify violence," the Pope told the gathering.
"On the contrary, religions can and must offer precious
resources to build a peaceful humanity, because they speak about peace
in the heart of man.
"With respect for the differences between different
religions, we are all called to work for peace and an effective effort
to promote reconciliation between peoples."
The Pope highlighted criminal violence in Naples
The Pope also made it clear that he will never budge on traditional Catholic teaching, that Catholicism alone is the one true faith.
Prior to the meeting of religious leaders the Pope celebrated an open air Mass in Naples, but there was a poor turnout for the Mass. Pope Benedict called for a profound renewal in the city of Naples, a city plagued by unemployment and a high crime rate. He singled out the activities of the local mafia of Naples, the organization that controls much of the city's economy.
"How important it is to intensify efforts for a serious
strategy of prevention focusing on schools and the workplace and on
helping young people spend their free time," the Pope said.
"Everyone must intervene against violence."
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