Pope Benedict XVI Meets Non-Christian Leaders

July 18, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: The Australian

[theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24039586-2702,00.html]

Leaders of non-Christian faiths have met Pope Benedict XVI, who hailed the shared moral values of the world's major religions.

About 20 religious leaders from the Jewish, Hindu, Islamic and Buddhist communities gathered to meet the Pope and the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney George Pell in the Chapter Hall at St Mary's Cathedral this morning.

The meeting came hours before the main event today for World Youth Day celebrations, the Stations of the Cross enactment through central Sydney.

Dr Pell told those gathered at St Mary's that the tolerant religious relations that existed among multifaith Australians were a testament to the power of religion to unite communities, rather than divide them.

“Together, as fellow believers, we must demonstrate that true faith in God is a cause for unity and comity, not division and hatred.

“Our meeting here today is surely a significant sign in that regard.”

Pope Benedict XVI then spoke, calling for an increased focus on religion in schools.

Praising the moral values shared by many of the world's religions, he stressed the positive impact they have on young people.