Pope Francis highlighted prayer and fraternity as modest but effective weapons to rediscover God as the source of peace in his address to the Muslim Council of Elders in Bahrain.
The Pope recommended, “prayer and fraternity as our weapons, modest but effective, to achieve this duty of helping humanity rediscover the forgotten sources of life.”
He said that God is the source of peace and never brings about war, never incites hatred, and never supports violence.
Pope Francis met with the members of the Muslim Council of Elders, in the presence of the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Tayyeb in the mosque of the Sakhir Royal Palace on Friday afternoon.
The Pope urged that it is a unique and inescapable duty of religious leaders to help humanity to rediscover the forgotten sources of life, to lead men and women to drink from the wellsprings of ancient wisdom, and to bring the faithful closer to worship the God of heaven and closer to our brothers and sisters for whom he created the earth.”
He encouraged the believers of God to “promote peace with tools of peace, such as encounter, patient negotiations, and dialogue, which is the oxygen of peaceful coexistence.”
Pope Francis said, “Peace is born of fraternity; it grows through the struggle against injustice and inequality; it is built by holding out a hand to others.”
He insisted to eliminate the forms of inequality and discrimination as an act of proclamation of peace rather than witnessing with words.
The Pope encouraged, “We who are descended from Abraham, the father of peoples in faith, cannot be concerned merely with those who are “our own” but, as we grow more and more united, we must speak to the entire human community, to all who dwell on this earth.”
He warned that God’s name of Peace is dishonored by those who put their trust in the power and nurture violence, war, and the arms trade.
The Pope continued, “commerce of death” that, through ever-increasing outlays, is turning our common home into one great arsenal.”
Pope Francis stressed that we need to encounter one another “to get to know and to esteem one another, to put reality ahead of ideas and people ahead of opinions, openness to heaven ahead of differences on earth.”
He added that we “need to put a future of fraternity ahead of a past of antagonism, overcoming historical prejudices and misunderstandings in the name of the One who is the source of peace.”
Quoting the saying of Imam Ali: “People are of two types: they are either brothers and sisters in religion or fellow men and women in humanity,” the Pope urged everyone to “forget the past and sincerely achieve mutual understanding, and, for the benefit of all, to preserve and promote peace, liberty, social justice, and moral values.”
The Pope stressed, “Social, international, economic, and individual evils, as well as the dramatic environmental crisis of our time, ultimately derive from estrangement from God and our neighbor.” - With inputs from Vatican News
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