Friday, September 29, 2006

Msgr Lajolo: Pope against religious violence and exclusion of God in the west

~via Asia News

28 September, 2006 - The address of Benedict XVI has reached the United Nations. During a speech delivered yesterday evening at the UN General Assembly, Mgr Giovanni Lajolo specified that the pope condemned “religious motivations for violence”, but also attempts by politicians to “exclude God” from a society “relegating religion to the ambit of subcultures”.

The lecture delivered by the pope at the German university, continued the Vatican’s former minister for foreign affairs, was intended to be a “boost and an encouragement for positive and even self-critical dialogue, both between religions and between modern reason and the faith of Christians”. Beyond the misinterpretations that came about, the pope’s “real intention” was to explain that “‘not religion and violence, but religion and reason go together’, in the context of a critical vision of a society which seeks to exclude God from public life”.

Mgr Lajolo said: “If, on the one hand, religious motivation for violence, whatever its source, must be clearly and radically rejected, on the other, it must be emphasized that in political life one cannot disregard the contribution of the religious vision of the world and of humanity.” For Mgr Lajolo, there is practically a cause-effect relationship between the two phenomena: “If reason to turn a deaf ear to the divine and relegate religion to the ambit of subcultures, it would automatically provoke violent reactions: and violent reactions are always a falsification of true religion”. While the whole world could talk only about friction in the Muslim world after the Regensburg address, nothing was said about the fact that “the Holy Father, in defending the openness of political and cultural activity to the Transcendent, did not wish to do anything other than make a decisive contribution to the dialogue between cultures, by helping to open western thought to the riches of the patrimony of all religions.”

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