The terrorists attacks in Paris have shaken all of us, even here in Canada, and have brought unthinkable pain to those who lost loved ones and those critically injured.
This suffering of everyone cannot be minimized. However, let us not lose sight of all the positive dialogue between religions that is going on.
One of them is an event at the Vatican just a few weeks ago, which probably was not covered by most media.
On Oct. 28, members of the Buddhist, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Jain and Sikh faiths were in Rome to attend a conference commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council’s document Nostra Aetate (Declaration on the Relations of the Church with Non-Christian Religions).
CNS reports that, during the conference, there was a gathering in St. Peter’s Square, where many held aloft olive branches.
Pope Frances invited everyone to pray to lead people to follow the will of God, who wants everyone to recognize each other as brothers and sisters and to form a “great human family in a harmony of diversity.”
Unfortunately, much of the violence and terrorism unfolding in the world have made people suspicious or critical of religions, he said.
However, “although no religion is immune from the risk of fundamentalist or extremist deviations,” he said, people must look at the positive aspects of religious beliefs, especially how they are a source of hope for so many.
Pope Francis said respectful dialogue can lead to friendship and concrete initiatives between religious believers in serving the poor, the elderly, the marginalized and immigrants.
My prayer is the goodwill being shown in Canada regarding Syrian refugees will not be jeopardized by the terrorists’ attacks in Paris.
There are many people of goodwill. We just don’t hear about them very often.