Pope to diplomats: Openness to God essential to peace

Pope Benedict

Pope Benedict

January 21, 2013

Deploring war, civil conflict and poverty around the world, Pope Benedict told foreign ambassadors to the Vatican that peace-building requires charity, religious liberty, a proper understanding of human rights and openness to divine love.

Pope Benedict made his remarks Jan. 7 in his annual address to members of the Vatican’s diplomatic corps.

He surveyed global troubles including “endless slaughter” in civil war-torn Syria, terrorist attacks on Christians in Nigeria and the impact of Hurricane Sandy in the U.S.

He also warned about the international spread of legalized abortion and growing inequality between rich and poor. “Peace is not simply the fruit of human effort, but a participation in the very love of God,” Pope Benedict told the envoys.

“Without openness to the transcendent, human beings easily become prey to relativism and find it difficult to act justly and to work for peace.”

The pope pointedly distinguished true religion, which he said aims at “reconciling men and women with God” and hence with each other, from a “baneful religious fanaticism which, again in 2012, reaped victims in some countries represented here.”