Papal Message to Interreligious Meeting

"Peace Is Both a Gift From God and an Obligation"

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VATICAN CITY, AUG. 21, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Here is a Vatican translation of Benedict XVI's statement to Kahjun Handa on the 20th anniversary of the religious summit meeting on Mount Hiei.



Mount Hiei, in Japan, is home to the headquarters of the Tendai sect of Buddhism.

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To Venerable KAHJUN HANDA

I am glad to greet you and all the religious leaders gathered on the occasion of the Twentieth Anniversary of the Religious Summit Meeting on Mount Hiei. I wish also to convey my best wishes to Venerable Eshin Watanabe, and to recall your distinguished predecessor as Supreme Head of the Tendai Buddhist Denomination, Venerable Etai Yamada. It was he who, having participated in the Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi on that memorable day of 27 October 1986, initiated the "Religious Summit Meeting" on Mount Hiei in Kyoto in order to keep the flame of the spirit of Assisi burning. I am also happy that Cardinal Paul Poupard, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, is able to take part in this meeting.

From the supernatural perspective we come to understand that peace is both a gift from God and an obligation for every individual. Indeed the world’s cry for peace, echoed by families and communities throughout the globe, is at once both a prayer to God and an appeal to every brother and sister of our human family. As you assemble on the sacred Mount Hiei, representing different religions, I assure you of my spiritual closeness. May your prayers and cooperation fill you with God’s peace and strengthen your resolve to witness to the reason of peace which overcomes the irrationality of violence!

Upon you all I invoke an abundance of divine blessings of inspiration, harmony and joy.

From the Vatican, 23 June 2007

BENEDICTUS PP. XVI

© Copyright 2007 -- Libreria Editrice Vaticana