TO THE PARTICIPANTS IN THE WORLD FORUM
OF ECUMENISM AND INTER-RELIGIOUS DIALOGUE G20
[Buenos Aires, 26-28 September 2018]
I greet with affection the organizers and the participants in the G20 interreligious forum, which this year is held in Buenos Aires. These interreligious conferences, in the framework of the meetings of the G20 summit, aspire to offer the international community the contribution of their different religious and philosophical traditions and experiences, to enlighten those social questions that are of particular concern to us today.
In these days of exchanges and reflections, you are proposing to deepen the role of religions and their specific contribution to building consensus, for a just and sustainable development that ensures a future worthy for all. Certainly the challenges facing the world at this time are many and very complex. Currently we are confronted with difficult situations that do not concern only so many of our helpless and forgotten brothers, but they threaten the future of all humanity. And we men of faith can not remain indifferent to these threats.
Thinking of religions, I believe that, apart from differences and different points of view, a first fundamental contribution to today's world is to be able to show the fruitfulness of constructive dialogue to find, together, the best solutions to problems that everyone interests us. A dialogue that does not mean renouncing one's own identity (see Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium, No. 251), but being willing to meet the other, to understand his reasons, to know how to establish respectful human relations, with clear conviction and firm that listening to those who think differently is first of all an opportunity for mutual enrichment and growth in fraternity. Because it is not possible to build a common home by putting people who think differently or what they consider important to belong to their deepest identity. We need to build a fraternity that is not "laboratory" because "the future lies in the respectful coexistence of diversity, not in homologation to a single theoretically neutral thought" (Address to the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, 28 November 2013).
Faced with a world in which a technocratic development paradigm is affirmed and consolidated, with its logic of domination and control of reality in favor of economic interests and profit, I think that religions have a great role to play, above all, thanks to that new "look" on the human being that comes from faith in God, Creator of man and of the universe. Any attempt to seek genuine economic, social and technological development must take into account the dignity of the human being; the importance of looking at each person in the eye and not as a number more than a cold statistic. We are moved by the conviction that "man is the author, the center and the end of all economic-social life" (Apostolic Constitution Gaudium et Spes, No. 63). We therefore offer a new way of looking at men and reality, no longer with manipulative and dominant anxiety, but respecting its nature and its vocation in the whole of creation, because "we all beings in the universe are united by invisible bonds and we form a sort of universal family, a sublime communion that leads us to a sacred, loving and humble respect "(Encyclical Letter Laudato si ', No. 89).
Dear friends, I wish to renew once more, and in the face of this highly qualified assembly, my appeal to protect our common home through concern for the whole human family. An urgent call for a new dialogue on how we are building our society, in the search for sustainable development and convinced that things can change.
Let me conclude by recalling once again that we are all necessary in this task and that we can all work together as God's instruments to protect and safeguard creation, bringing each one his own culture and experience, talents and faith.
And, please, I ask you to pray for me.
Vatican, 6 September 2018
(from: L'Osservatore Romano, daily ed., Year CLVIII, n.219, 27/09/2018)