Here’s an important and inspirational story that has flown right under the crisis-obsessed media radar: a three-day interfaith summit called “A World Without Violence: Religions and Cultures in Dialogue” has just concluded in Naples, Italy.
Apparently the summit is part of an annual “International Encounter for Peace” sponsored by the Rome-based lay Catholic community of Sant’Egidio. Among the participants at this remarkable gathering were Pope Benedict XVI, the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I, the Ashkenazi great Rabbi of Israel Yona Metzger, Imam Ibrahim Ezzedin of the United Arab Emirates, Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams, the Ecumenical Council of Churches’ Samuel Kobia, as well as several Catholic cardinals.
The delegations prayed separately at various venues in Naples, then took part in a “peace procession” attended by Italian President Giorgio Napolitano. Before concluding, 300 Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist and Hindu leaders and political figures issued a joint declaration that stated:
We can say with more emphasis than before that whoever uses God’s name to hate others, to commit violent acts, to make war, blasphemes the name of God.
Here’s the full story from the European Jewish Press.