men and women of different religions and coming from all over the world, have
gathered here in Bucharest to pray to God for the great gift of peace. In these
days, God has made us more conscious of the sacred value of peace. God loves
peace and does not want war. The Almighty is, by God's own nature, the God of
peace; therefore, religions never justify hatred, violence and war.
who use the name of God in order to hate or even kill another hwnan being,
abandon pure and unblemished religion: the name of God never mean war and
peace is the true name of God. This holy name obliges us to realise peace in
love, in justice, in understanding. It is impossible to serve God without
serving peace. This conviction obliges us, believers, to a greater audacity in
serving the cause of peace in our communities. It inspires us to enlarge our
hearts and that of our brothers and sisters to faith and love. War and peace,
indeed, begin in the heart of every man and every woman.
the memory of injustice and suffering and the desire for recognition seem to
justify divisions, rivalries and conflicts. The culture of hatred generates
violence. But only in peace is there a future! Let us leave a world for the
generations to come, which is not poisoned by hatred or war, but which is rich
in these blessed days, has become the capital of dialogue and of peace. Today,
it shines in all its splendour as a bridge between the East and the West. With
all our heart, we thank Rumania and its population which joined with us in this
climate of fervent hospitality and prayer. In Bucharest, we commemorate all
those who were killed or who have suffered under dictatorship, injustice and
conflicts of this century - here and in every part of the world.
came to Rumania seeking peace. We have neither material power nor instruments of
force. We are believers. We are convinced that from faith comes a "weak
strength" which can change the world. That is the strength of religion,
faith and love. With that strength, we cry out: no war is holy, only peace is
holy. To speak of a war between religions is absurd and it is a curse before
address ourselves to those who kill and who make war in the name of God:
"Stop! Do not kill! Let us talk together and God will enlighten us
all!" We address ourselves to those who trample mankind and creation, and
ask them in the name of God to respect every creature and the whole creation.
May hatred, destruction and conflicts never find an incentive in religion!
the end of the World War II, and, later on, after the fall of the walls between
East and West, humanity had hoped for an era of peace and justice. But the end
of this century, which is both great and terrible, has been marked by new
conflicts, new sufferings, new walls. We, who are strong in the wisdom of faith
and the experience of much suffering, declare: war is madness, and there is
never victory in the elimination of the other.
is always a defeat for mankind and an offence against God. Let awareness
increase that the pain of any population, wherever in the world, impoverishes
the whole planet!
hatred, no conflict can resist prayer, forgiveness and love. Therefore, we ask
forgiveness and we forgive. Therefore, during these days, we have worked in and
learnt dialogue. The medicine of dialogue enables us to heal much
misunderstanding and conflict between peoples and between religions. Dialogue
reveals that war and incomprehension are not invincible. Nothing is lost by
dialogue. Everything is possible with peace!
"war never again"! May God may give the marvellous gift of peace
through the prayer of all believers!
September 1st, 1998