(Vatican Radio) The Secretary of the Vatican Council for Interreligious Dialogue is calling on interfaith partners to be “promoters of unity in diversity” to combat the “inhuman acts of violence” being perpetrated by extremists in the Middle East. Father Miguel Ayuso Guixot told a Vienna interfaith conference, “No cause, and certainly no religion, can justify such barbarism.”
Fr. Ayuso made his remarks Wednesday in an address to members of KAICIID, The King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue of which the Holy See is a Founding Observer . This year’s meeting in Vienna has been focusing on the theme “United against Violence in the name of Religion, protecting Religious and Cultural Diversity in Iraq and Syria.”
The KAICIID Board of Directors is made up of representatives from five major world religions: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism.
The November 18-19 conference has brought together a large number of high level religious leaders and policymakers and Church leaders from the countries most affected by the violence in Syria and Iraq.
Among Catholic leaders attending the conference are the Patriarch of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church Gregory III Laham, Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignatius Ephren Joseph III Younan and His excellency Mgr. Gemayel, a representative of Maronite Patriarch Bechara Raï.
Below please find the text of the address made by the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Fr. Miguel Ayuso Guixot:
"On behalf of all the members of the Board of Directors of KAICIID, I would like to express to you all our gratitude For being present here together “United Against Violence in the name of religion: Supporting religious and cultural diversity in Iraq and Syria”.
The reason for being here is because the whole world has witnessed with incredulity the inhuman acts of violence. No cause, and certainly no religion, can justify such barbarism. This constitutes an extremely serious offence to humanity and to God, who is the Creator.
May the works of this international conference bring us together and our communities we represent, to be promoters of unity in diversity, to work together for the service of humanity, underlining the vital importance of enhanced service for the common good of society, and mutual cooperation.
May we constantly promote a culture of encounter for the whole common good. Let us therefor unite our voice with that of Pope Francis”. May the God of Peace stir up in each one of us a general desire for dialogue and reconciliation.
Violence is never defeated by violence. Violence is defeated by peace. Thank you."