CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (CNS): Pope John Paul II said the alarming escalation of worldwide terrorism has marred the start of the new millennium and troubled the consciences of believers everywhere.
The Pope made the remarks at his Sunday blessing on September 19.
The day before, he told Egypt’s ambassador that terrorism and other forms of violence were sowing hatred and destruction around the world.
Speaking to pilgrims in the courtyard of his summer residence outside Rome, the Pope said the latest wave of violence had troubled many people and prompted them to ask, “Why?”
Accepting Egypt’s new ambassador to the Holy See, Nevine Simaika Halim, on September 18, the Pope said Muslims and Christians need to help build a culture of peace in order to neutralise acts of hatred and violence in the Middle East.
The Pope repeated a theme he has stressed repeatedly in recent years, that the leaders of major faiths should renounce violence in the name of religion.
Religions have a responsibility to “combat and reject any sectarian approach” and instead work to favour tolerance and respect for others, he said.