RADIO VATICANA: Pope Benedict sent a video message at the conclusion yesterday of the Courtyard of the Gentiles which ended its first encounter in Paris, France. Speaking to all those who had participated, Pope Benedict said that one of the reasons for this initiative was to encourage such feelings of fraternity, over and above our individual convictions yet not denying our differences. And to recognize that God alone, in Christ, grants us inner freedom and the possibility of truly encountering one another as brothers and sisters. (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)
The Holy Father continued by saying that young people, believers and non-believers alike, had chosen to come together, in order to meet one another and to discuss the great questions of human existence. He added that the question of God was not a menace to society, it does not threaten a truly human life! and it must not be absent from the other great questions of our time. Pope Benedict then said the challenge is that people build bridges between one another.
Addressing in particular young people the Pope stressed that it was up to them, in their countries and in Europe as a whole, to help believers and non-believers to rediscover the path of dialogue. Religions, the Holy Father said, have nothing to fear from a just secularity, one that is open and allows individuals to live in accordance with what they believe in their own consciences. Finally, the Pope called on all those gather in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, especially the young people who were non-believers, to open their hearts to the sacred texts, “let yourselves” he said, “be challenged by the beauty of the music and, if you truly desire it, let your deepest feelings rise towards the Unknown God."