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Pope Francis: to Interreligious Dialogue Institute in Argentina, “culture of encounter” to address challenges such as “war, hunger, poverty, environmental crisis”

“To cooperate among ourselves and with men and women of good will, who do not profess a religion, in order to give effective answers to the many plagues of our world, such as war and hunger, the poverty that afflicts millions of people, the environmental crisis, violence, corruption and moral degradation, the crisis of the family, of the economy and, above all, the lack of hope”. Pope Francis entrusted this mission to the participants in the meeting promoted by the Interreligious Dialogue Institute in Argentina, who were received in audience today. “There is no alternative: we will either build the future together or there will not be a future”, Pope Francis remarked in Spanish, quoting from the Abu Dhabi Document on Human Fraternity: “Our religious traditions are a necessary source of inspiration to foster a culture of encounter. Interreligious cooperation, based on the promotion of sincere and respectful dialogue, is essential”. “It is important to show that we, believers, are agents of peace for the human society – the Holy Father argued – and in this way we can respond to those who unjustly accuse religions of fomenting hatred and of being the cause of violence”. Adopting “the culture of dialogue as the path; mutual cooperation as the code of conduct; reciprocal understanding as the method and standard” – these three suggestions included in the Abu Dhabi Document were reiterated by the Pope, who urged those present to ask themselves “how do we nourish a fraternity which is not theoretical but translates into authentic fraternity?” and “how can we privilege inclusion over exclusion” in order to ensure that “religions are channels of fraternity rather than barriers of separation?”.

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