Pope Francis Appeals for Religious Diversity and Understanding

When Pope Francis talks, 1.3 billion people listen.

Thus, it is significant that on his recent trip to Hungary, the Pope called for an embrace of religious diversity.

Pope Francis
Pope Francis (Photo by AM113/Shutterstock.com)

He explained that, while in the beginning, “diversity always causes some fear because it puts at risk the acquired security and upsets the achieved stability,” it leads to greater sense of humanity, community. “In front of cultural, ethnic, political and religious diversity, we can have two reactions: close ourselves in a rigid defense of our so-called identity, or open ourselves to meet the others and cultivate together the dream of a fraternal society.”

When Pope Francis talks, 1.3 billion people listen.

Pope Francis’ comments were specifically directed at cooling the embers of Christian-Jewish friction, long a threat to the peace of European society, but the principle he espoused has applicability to virtually every nation, and every culture on Earth.

He implored the faithful to “leave behind our past misunderstandings” and for Jews and Christians alike to combat the threat of anti-Semitism, calling it “a fuse that must not be allowed to burn.”

Later in that trip, while in Slovakia, the Pope visited the Shoah memorial, at Rybné námestie square in Bratislava, a memorial to the 105,000 Slovakian Jews who were killed by the Nazis in the Holocaust. Calling that atrocity tantamount to blasphemy, the Pope said, “Dear brothers and sisters, your history is our history, your sufferings are our sufferings. In this place, our histories meet once more. Here, let us affirm together before God our willingness to persevere on the path of reconciliation and friendship.”

I hope his message reverberates across all cultures, all peoples of Earth.

Leland Thoburn
Leland has been a Scientologist for 45 years. His writings have been published in numerous magazines and literary journals, including Foliate Oak Review, Writers’ Journal, Feathertale Review, Calliope, Vocabula Review and others. Formerly an executive at EarthLink Inc., he works as a business consultant.