The Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Fr. Miguel Ayuso, addressed members of the diplomatic corps present at a reception given for them in connection with a major international conference, “United Against Violence in the Name of Religion” organized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the KAICIID international dialogue center (KAICIID) under the auspices of the Greek foreign ministry. Please find the full text of Fr. Ayuso’s prepared remarks in English below
RECEPTION for the DIPLOMATIC CORPS
ATHENS, 3 SEPTEMBER 2015
Rev. Fr. Miguel Ángel AYUSO GUIXOT
Secretary Pontifical Council
for Interreligious Dialogue
It is a honour for me to speak to you today on behalf of the Holy See, as Founding Observer of the International Dialogue Center (KAICIID), at this reception in the International Conference for dialogue between Christians and Muslims with the theme “United Against Violence in the Name of Religion”, as organized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the International Dialogue Center (KAICIID) and under the auspices of the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Based on the experience and knowledge we have regarding the reality of today’s world, we now know how wounded humanity is in the Middle East as well as other parts of the world.
I hope, therefore, that this International Conference brings forth both effective and positive content and answers in light of this very reality.
I am hopeful as well, that the international community, as so often expressed by Pope Francis, is able to find effective means and appropriate political solutions to end the suffering of so many people from different religions and cultures. Pope Francis has made this plea: “I renew the hope that the international community not remain silent and inert in front of these intolerable crimes, which constitute an alarming decline of the most essential human rights and impede the richness of cohabitation among peoples, cultures and faiths.” (Pope Francis, Letter addressed to H.E. Bishop Lahham, Auxiliary Bishop of Jerusalem for the Latins, Vicar Patriarchate for Jordan, 6 August 2015).
The times in which we are living render interreligious dialogue more than ever necessary. We know that many of the conflicts which exist today, though purported to be based in religious differences, cannot be justified as religious. Thus there can be only one answer for us: to join as believers who are united to counter violence unjustly done in the name of religion.
Let us together respond to the latest appeal by Pope Francis when he invites all, “legislators and government leaders to insure religious freedom everywhere; and to the international community to put an end to violence and oppression “(Angelus, 30 August 2015).
It is my hope and prayer that our International Conference be a contribution to this much-needed building of peaceful coexistence among peoples.
Excellencies, Distinguished Participants,
Let me convey my gratitude for the invitation, and wish you success in the noble aim of promoting intercultural and interreligious and intercultural dialogue for the good of humanity.
Thank you very much.