Vatican City, 29 October 2015 (VIS) – Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, has sent a message to the participants in the Religions for Peace European Assembly, currently gathered in Castel Gandolfo to discuss the theme “Welcoming Each Other in Europe: from Fear to Trust”.
The cardinal mentioned the Assembly's concept paper, which underlines the multiple challenges of today's Europe: fear of losing one's identity leading to radicalism and fundamentalism, tendency to withdraw into oneself, xenophobia, rising intolerance towards different religions and minorities and increasing tides of forced migration due to wars, dictatorial regimes and ecological crisis.
“How can we change fear into trust, discrimination into respect, enmity into amity, polarisation into solidarity, a selfish lifestyle into a selfless one, a throwaway culture into a caring culture, and confrontation into encounter and dialogue? The true mission of religion is peace because religion and peace go together. No true religious leader can ignore the culture of dehumanisation and violence or preach and support it. We all agree that peace or violence and trust or fear come from the human heart. Prayer, spiritual practices, and actions for justice and peace can awaken our hearts to overcome the polarised vision of seeing our neighbour as another separate person. As religious leaders our urgent challenge today, is to transform distrust , suspicion, intolerance into a new culture based on respect, mutual understanding, non-violence, solidarity and peaceful conflict resolution. Since our spiritual patrimony is so great, let us work together to remedy these social and cultural ills through dialogue and cooperation”.