Holy Father Points to an Ingredient for Peace

Links It to Respect for Religious Freedom

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 18, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI highlighted religious freedom as one of the keys for peace in an age of globalization, as he addressed ambassadors from Australia, India, Chad, Cape Verde and Moldova.



"Peace is rooted in respect for religious freedom, which is an essential and primordial aspect of the people's freedom of conscience and of nations' freedom," said the Pope in his address delivered in French today.

"It is important that throughout the world every person adhere to the religion he wishes and practice it without fear, as no one can base his existence solely on the pursuit of material well-being," the Holy Father added.

According to the Pontiff, "To accept that personal and collective dimension will undoubtedly have some beneficial effects on social life. To love the Almighty and to receive him invites every one to be at the service of his brothers and to build peace."

In fact, the other key that Benedict XVI stressed to the diplomats for the building and consolidation of peace in a globalized world was fraternity, which implies solidarity.

Thus the Holy Father encouraged "leaders of nations and all people of good will to commit themselves with ever greater determination to the building of a free, fraternal and solidaristic world, in which the care of persons is above simple economic aspects."

"We have the duty to recognize that we are responsible for one another and for the progress of the world as a whole," he observed. "No one can respond, as Cain, to God's question in the Book of Genesis: 'Am I my brother's keeper?'

"In the era of globalization, it is important that the management of public life not be guided preponderantly and solely by economic considerations, by the quest for profitability, by an inconsiderate use of the planet's resources in detriment to populations, in particular the less favored, running the risk of long-term mortgaging the world's future."