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September 8 2012 | SARAJEVO, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

The Serbian Orthodox Patriarch Irinej at the Catholic Liturgy in Sarajevo Cathedral

The International Meeting for peace between different religions starts with an extraordinary sign of reconciliation.

 
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“Living Together is the Future”. In Sarajevo, on the eve of the first joint event between Catholics,  Orthodox Serbians, Muslims and Jews since the end of the 1992-1995 war, came a surprising sign of profound reconciliation: the patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church Irinej took part in the liturgy celebrated in the Catholic cathedral by Cardinal Vinko Puljic. “God does not have preferences”, stressed Puljic, greeting the people present in the cathedral as “one who has experienced and survived a brutal war”. “Many terrible things have happened to the people of this country”, ha added. “Today we are gathered here to pray that the Lord will heal all the wounds”.

Starting Sunday, September 11, the Community of Sant’Egidio, together with the Islamic community of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Archdiocese of Vrhbosna-Sarajevo and the Jewish community, has organized the international meeting for peace “Living Together is the Future, Religions and Cultures in Dialogue”.

 

 “I don’t want to dwell on dark times – Puljic went on to explain – Prayer has given us the strength to bear the horrors of war, but now the cloud of desperation is looming. That is why it is important that the  message of hope and positive energy comes from this city, a message that says: diversity is not a disadvantage, but rather a resource”. From diversity, in fact, springs the need “to build a world in which co-existence and tolerance give the hope of a better future….We are aware that we are not our own masters … we are part of a bigger family”. Signs and words of a spreading awareness acquired in this injured land, that does not want to give up being a symbol of co-existence. Sunday, in the inaugural ceremony, a copy of the Haggadah of Sarajevo will be presented to Oded Wiener, Director-general of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. A message from Pope Benedict XVI is expected.


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