VATICAN - Pope tells eight new diplomatic representatives: "At this moment in history

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) - “Religions lived according to their profound essence have been, and still are, a force for reconciliation and peace. At this moment in history religions must, through open and sincere dialogue, seek the path of purification in order to conform ever more closely to their true vocation. Mankind desires peace and, if possible, universal peace…without utopia and without manipulations.” This is what the Holy Father Benedict XVI affirmed during an audience with the new Ambassadors of Denmark, Uganda, Sudan, Kenya, Kazakhstan, Bangladesh, Finland, and Latvia, who presented their Letters of Credence on December 17. In his address, the Pope recalled that “in order for peace to be established, there should be certain political, economic, cultural, and spiritual conditions” and that “peaceful coexistence of different religions in each nation is sometimes difficult.” Thus, “believers are called to ask God about His will concerning each human situation."The Holy Father mentioned that “before God there is no category or hierarchy of man, inferior or superior, dominant or protected. For Him there is only man, whom He created out of love and wants to see living, in the family and in society, in fraternal harmony…For people of faith or people of good will, the resolution of human conflicts and the delicate coexistence of different religious expressions can be transformed into an opportunity for human coexistence within a social order full of goodness and wisdom, the origin and impulse of which lies in God.” Even if the political and economic world barely places man in the first place and with even greater difficulty admit the importance and necessity of the religious dimension, “the peace we so long for will not come into being save by the joint action of individuals, who discover the true nature of God, and of leaders of civil and religious society who - respecting the dignity and faith of all people - know how to give religion its noble and authentic role in creating and perfecting the human person.”In his address, the Pontiff also emphasized the importance of “restoring a proper relationship between man and the creation in which he lives and works,” urging the political authorities of individual countries and of all nations, “not only to reinforce their action in favor of protecting the environment, but also … to be a force of proposal and incentive in order to reach binding international agreements, which are useful and fair for all.” The commitment to overcoming the challenges facing humanity today can only reach positive results if it is accompanied "by a conversion or a transformation of the current pattern of development of our societies. The Church proposes that this profound change, which is to be discovered and lived, is driven by the concept of integral development of the human person. In fact, the good of man does not consist in increasingly rampant consumerism and in the unlimited accumulation of goods, consumption and accumulation reserved for a small number of people and proposed as models to the masses. In this regard, it is not only up to different religions to emphasize and defend the primacy of man and spirit, but also the State must do so,” by facilitating access to spiritual goods for all citizens. (SL) (Agenzia Fides 18/12/2009)

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