VATICAN CITY (CNS): When the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in New York fell after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, many people’s hopes for a future of peace also fell, Pope John Paul II said.
“Peace cannot be built on mutual ignorance, but on dialogue and encounter,” the Pope said in a message to a September 7-9 interreligious meeting on peace sponsored by the Rome-based Sant’Egidio Community.
The meeting in Aachen, Germany, was the community’s 17th international gathering designed as a follow up to Pope John Paul’s 1986 gathering of religious leaders in Assisi, Italy.
Unfortunately, the Pope said, the yearning for peace expressed at the Assisi gathering was not acted upon quickly or carefully enough.
“In these years too little has been invested to defend peace and to support the dream of a world free from wars,” he said.
Instead, the Pope said, too many leaders chose the path of developing special interests and spending money on other priorities, particularly on military weapons and machinery.