Benedict in Assisi: "No more violence in the name of religion!"

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
28 Oct 2011

The second and last inter-religious meeting of the Assisi trip started with a little pilgrimage from the convent of Saint Mary of the Angels to the Plaza Saint Francis of Assisi.

Waiting for them was a group of young people that choreographed several dances to begin the closing the inter-religious meeting.

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran explained how the ceremony would unfold.

Card. Jean-Louis Tauran
President, Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue
"In a few moments we will renew our common commitment to never resign ourselves to wars and to divisions."

Then, one by one, 13 religious leaders and one non-believer all renewed their commitment to build peace. Benedict XVI was also among the group. 

Benedicto XVI
"Violence never again! War never again!Terrorism never again! In the name of God, may every religion bring upon the earth Justice and Peace, Forgiveness and Life, Love."

A moment of silence followed the pope's speech. Benedict XVI asked that each member look inward to implore for world peace.

Some young people gave a simple candle to encourage leaders as a sign of desire and effort to be carried around the world as the light of peace.

Cardinal Kurt Koch then adjourned the meeting.

Card. Kurt Koch
President, Pontifical Council for Christian Unity
"Let us remember that there is no peace without justice; that there is no justice without forgiveness".

Before the end, several white doves were released to symbolize peace. Later, Benedict XVI thanked everyone for their participation in this day of dialogue, reflection and friendship between religions for peace and said goodbye to those leaders present.

This meeting in Assisi is the third of its kind in history. John Paul II started them 25 years ago in 1986 and it was repeated after the attacks of September 11th.