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Pope in UK: At inter-religious meeting – “Your presence and witness in the world points towards the fundamental importance for human life of this spiritual quest in which we are engaged.”

September 17, 2010
Pope Benedict met with leaders of other religions this morning in London.
Before speaking, Chief Rabbi of London Lord Jonathan Sacks gave an address, as did the director of the Prince's School of Traditional Arts Dr. Khaled Azzam.  Rabbi Sacks offered a great comment noting that we live in an "information saturated" but "wisdom starved age."  Wisdom has certainly been a topic of the day as Pope Benedict as he said in an earlier address to teachers and religious that education is "about forming the human person, equipping him or her to live life to the full – in short it is about imparting wisdom.  And true wisdom is inseparable from knowledge of the Creator, for 'both we and our words are in his hand, as are all understanding and skill in crafts' (Wis 7:16)."
In his address, the Holy Father said the different faith groups share a common journey: seeking an answer to the meaning of our human existence.  He described this journey by invoking St. Augustine's famous phrase: "Lord, you have created us for yourself and our hearts are restless until they rest in you."
The Holy Father noted the search for the sacred does not devalue other fields of human inquiry.  But, he says:
... genuine religious belief points us beyond present utility towards the transcendent.  It reminds us of the possibility and the imperative of moral conversion, of the duty to live peaceably with our neighbour, of the importance of living a life of integrity.  Properly understood, it brings enlightenment, it purifies our hearts and it inspires noble and generous action, to the benefit of the entire human family.  It motivates us to cultivate the practice of virtue and to reach out towards one another in love, with the greatest respect for religious traditions different from our own.
He also discussed the importance of dialogue between faiths, saying once respect and openness has been established "peoples of all religions will work together effectively for peace and mutual understanding, and so give a convincing witness before the world."
Read the full text of the Holy Father's address here.
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