Holy See to UN: ‘Religious leaders help prevent violence, foster virtue’

Holy See to UN: ‘Religious leaders help prevent violence, foster virtue’

Vatican Radio

The Holy See has hailed a UN plan of action for religious leaders to prevent incitement to violence that could lead to atrocity crimes, saying they also foster peaceful, inclusive societies.

Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, said the Holy See “is not able to support every one of the 177 targets” of the plan but that it does represent “a major, practical step” toward a better society and culture.

He said the vocation of religious leaders and communities “is to carry out and inspire actions aimed at helping the building of societies based on respect for life and human dignity, charity, fraternity, which goes far beyond tolerance, and solidarity.”

Despite the focus on religious leaders, Archbishop Auza pointed out that the “primary responsibility” of protecting “the innocent from savage acts” lies with national governments.

But he said that the plan’s existence is “a humble recognition by the international community that those who are being incited by pseudo-religious motivations for violence aren’t going to be effectively persuaded out of it by secular argumentation from so-called infidels or by economic materialism.”

Religious leaders, in addition to helping to prevent violence, Archbishop Auza concluded, primarily foster “incitement to virtue and thereby creating the type of peaceful and inclusive societies in which atrocity crimes are ethically unacceptable, indeed, unimaginable.”

Sun, 07/16/2017 - 19:09
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