VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The world urgently needs dialogue that promotes a culture of peace and nonviolence, and concrete efforts aimed toward that end, Pope Francis said.
“This dialogue must invite all people to reject violence in every form, including violence done to the environment. Sadly too, there are those who continue to abuse religion by using it to justify acts of violence and hatred,” he told a delegation of Buddhist leaders from Mongolia May 28.
Cardinal-designate Giorgio Marengo, apostolic prefect of Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, accompanied the delegation, and the next day the pope announced that the Italian missionary, who will be 48 on June 7, would be made a cardinal in August.
Pope Francis told the group, “In a world ravaged by conflicts and wars, we, as religious leaders deeply rooted in our respective religious teachings, have a duty to awaken in humanity the firm resolve to renounce violence and to build a culture of peace.”
“Peace is the ardent yearning of humanity today,” he said. And “there is an urgent need, through dialogue at all levels, to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence, and to work to that end.”
The delegation was the first to visit the Vatican as official representatives of Mongolian Buddhism seeking to strengthen “friendly relations with the Catholic Church for the sake of advancing mutual understanding and cooperation in the building of a peaceful society,” the pope said.
Though representing a minority in Mongolia, the Catholic Church “is fully committed to fostering a culture of encounter,” the pope said, noting that this year is the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Mongolia.
He said he hoped the long history of harmony in diversity in Mongolia may continue “through the effective implementation of religious freedom and the promotion of joint initiatives for the common good.”