Pope Francis calls on the international community to take substantial steps to bring about peace in the world and to protect all those who are victims of war and religion-based persecution.
According to Vatican news, Pope Francis in the annual speech known as “State of the World” address has expressed his hope that religious, political and intellectual leaders, especially those of the Muslim community, will condemn all fundamentalist and extremist interpretations of religion that attempt to justify such acts of violence.
Pope Francis focused on a series of imperative issues which draw from a culture of rejection “which severs the deepest and most authentic human bonds, leading to a breakdown of society and spawning violence and death”. He was addressing representatives of 180 States which have diplomatic relations with the Holy See. He said we witness aching evidence of the consequences of this culture of rejection “in the events reported daily in the news, not least the tragic slayings which took place in Paris a few days ago”.
Religious fundamentalism, the Pope continued, “even before it eliminates human beings by perpetrating horrendous killings, eliminates God himself, turning him into a mere ideological pretext”.
At this occasion he mentioned the “tragic mentality of rejection” and “culture of enslavement” which are noticeable in a “never ending spread of conflicts”. In this regard he mentioned Ukraine, of the Middle East – in particular of the Holy Land – and of the spread of fundamentalist terrorism in Syria and in Iraq, where – he said – “this phenomenon is a consequence of the throwaway culture being applied to God”.