We, 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.

Those 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 hatred.

Yes, 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.

Sometimes, 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 with peace!

Bucharest, 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.

We 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 God.

We 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!

After 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.

War 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!

No 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!

Therefore, "war never again"! May God may give the marvellous gift of peace through the prayer of all believers!

Bucharest, September 1st, 1998