Pope says Assisi participants represent all who work for peace

By  Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service
  • October 28, 2011

VATICAN CITY - Thanking the 300 delegates who joined him for a peace pilgrimage to Assisi, Pope Benedict XVI said they represent billions of people -- believers and nonbelievers -- committed to making the world a better place.

The gathering was "a vivid expression of the fact that every day, throughout the world, people of different religious traditions live and work together in harmony," the Pope told the delegates Oct. 28, the morning after they had gone by train with him to Assisi.

He said the "day of reflection, dialogue and prayer for justice and peace" also was a sign of "the friendship and fraternity which has flourished" thanks to the efforts of pioneers in interreligious dialogue.

Pope Benedict gave special thanks to the four guests -- philosophers and secular humanists -- "who represent people of good will who follow no religious tradition, but are committed to the search for truth."

"They have been willing to share this pilgrimage with us as a sign of their desire to work together to build a better world," he said.

After the papal audience in the frescoed Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, the delegates had lunch in the atrium of the Vatican audience hall with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state.

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