Dialogue Is Not a Mixing of Religions, Says Aachen Bishop

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AACHEN, Germany, SEPT. 8, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Aachen Bishop Heinrich Mussinghoff inaugurated an international interreligious meeting, stressing that the aim of dialogue is not a mixing of religions, but rather the promotion of mutual respect.



On Sunday the prelate opened the three-day event with a Mass held in the historic Cathedral of Aachen, built in 786 by Charlemagne.

The meeting, whose motto is "Between War and Peace: Religions and Cultures Meet Each Other," was organized by the Rome-based Community of Sant'Egidio.

The event has attracted representatives of the world's leading religions, to discuss ways to spread peace and tolerance among peoples.

"God is God for everyone," Bishop Mussinghoff affirmed in the presence of Orthodox bishops, Protestant ministers and patriarchs of old Eastern Churches, among others.

He added: "To be ambassadors of peace we must orient our lives on this model, to hunger for justice, be merciful and clement, opt for the poor, the elderly and the weak."

Following Bishop Mussinghoff's homily, the Orthodox metropolitan bishop of Germany, Augoustinos, said: "We Christians have understood little about the universal language of friendship and peace, but we must be open to each other and be open to the world, in order to defeat deafness and mutism."