Pope calls for peace during ecumenical event

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Oct. 20 (UPI) — Pope Francis gathered with other religious leaders in Rome for an international ecumenical event where they affirmed their commitment to peace.

The pontiff participated Tuesday in the inter-religious Meeting for Peace on Rome’s Capitoline Hill where he said the world suffers from “a profound thirst for peace.”

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“We need peace. More peace,” he said. “We cannot remain indifferent.”

He continued that the sufferings caused by war have been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic and the inability of some countries to access care.

The pope added that peace is the priority of politics and that God will ask an accounting of those who do not seek it and work against its establishment, stating fraternity and the realization the world is a “single human family” is what is now needed.

“We have gathered this evening, as persons of different religious traditions, in order to send a message of peace,” he said. “To show clearly that the religious do not want war and, indeed, disown those who would enshrine violence. That they ask everyone to pray for reconciliation and to strive to enable fraternity to pave new paths of hope.”

During the event organized by the Community of Saint Egidio, the religious leaders also signed an Appeal for Peace and observed a minute of silence to remember those who have died in wars and to the coronavirus.

Prior to the Meeting for Peace ceremony, the pontiff participated in an ecumenical prayer service at the Basilica of Saint Mary where he prayed alongside the leaders of other Christian denominations while Jews, Muslims and Buddhists prayed in venues throughout Rome.

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