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Pope advises politicians to engage in dialogue

RIO DE JANEIRO (SE): “Between selfish indifference and violent protest there is always another possible option: that of dialogue,” Pope Francis said in addressing officials from the government of Brazil on July 27 during his visit to World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro.

He encouraged the officials to seek inspiration for dialogue in great religious traditions, as they make a basic contribution to this.

He described dialogue as being “a leaven of society and a life-giving force for democracy.”

He said peaceful coexistence between religions is favoured by a state, because it allows it avoid “appropriating any one confessional stance and respect and esteem the presence of the religious factor in society, while fostering its concrete expressions.”

Pope Francis added that when he is asked by state leaders for advice, he says, “Dialogue, dialogue, dialogue. It is the only way for individuals, families and societies to grow, the only way for the life of peoples to progress, along with the culture of encounter, a culture in which all have something good to give and all can receive something good in return.”

He added, “Others always have something to give me, if we know how to approach them in a spirit of openness and without prejudice. Only in this way can understanding grow between cultures and religions, mutual esteem without needless preconceptions, respectful of the rights of everyone.”


He said that if we refuse to embrace the culture of encounter, we all fall. “Taking the right road makes the journey fruitful and secure,” he concluded.

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