Friday, 17 September 2010

Interfaith action: defend human life at every stage

The Waldegrave Room at St Mary's Twickenham has always been the pride and joy of the College, the place where important visitors are entertained. It must surely bring tears to the eyes of many an old "Simmarian" (as alumni used to refer to themselves) to see the Holy Father giving an address there.

This morning, Pope Benedict was speaking to Religious Leaders and People of Faith. Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks gave a good and warm introductory address, as did a Muslim leader before the Holy Father spoke.

The full text of the Holy Father's address will be available soon, I expect. (UPDATE: here it is) He quoted the famous text of St Augustine from the beginning of the Confessions:
You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.
The Pope spoke of the importance of tolerance and dialogue, particularly saying that there should a person should not be persecuted after conversion from one religion to another. This, of course, happens in several Muslim countries still today.

Pope Benedict also referred to the need not only for dialogue but for concrete action. He mentioned first the most obvious area in which most people of non-christian faith agree with the Catholic Church: defending human life at every stage.

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