|The pope joined several other religious leaders inside the National
September 11 Memorial & Museum for a prayer service for the 9/11 victims
|Pope Francis, center, looks on as Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove, left, shakes
hands with Imam Khalid Latif, right, during the interfaith ceremony on Friday
...In holding a multi-religious ceremony at the site, the pope said he hopes that this will send a message to the world that members of all beliefs and races can live peacefully together, despite their differences.
'For all our differences and disagreements, we can live in a world of peace.
'In the face of every attempt to make us uniform, we can and must build unity on the basis of our diversity of languages, cultures and religions, and raise our voices against anything that would stand in the way of such unity.
'Together we are called to say "no" to every attempt to make us the same, and "yes" to accepting diversity and reconciliation,' the pope said.
Pope Francis said that the only way to achieve this peace was to 'rid from our hearts all feelings of hate.'
He then called for a few moments of silence to pray for peace. (Source)
Two days after Yom Kippur, Pope Francis stood behind a Jewish cantor and listened to him pray. At least one priest chanted along as Azi Schwartz sang oseh shalom at the 9/11 memorial in New York City....
This was striking moment, and not because the singing sounded like a Gregorian chant, as one Catholic News Agency commentator clumsily observed several times. Though the pope’s visit clearly served as the impetus for the gathering, he wasn’t really the star; he listened solemnly as roughly a dozen Sikh, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, and Christian leaders offered prayers and reflections in commemoration of the September 11 attacks.
...This was a memorial gathering, but it was also a protest against religious extremism. And it was all the more fascinating because of its pluralism: religious leaders who are deeply committed to their version of metaphysical truth, but who have found a common enemy in extremism.
Opposition to “fundamentalism” and “ideology” has been a consistent Francis theme, both during his trip to the United States and before. “No religion is immune from forms of individual delusion or ideological extremism,” he said during his speech to the U.S. Congress on Thursday. “Nationalistic or falsely universalist ideologies … [are] capable of perpetrating tremendous atrocities,” he said during his speech to the United Nations on Friday. This is directed inwardly as much as outwardly; Francis has warned Christians against being “rigid” in their beliefs. But it’s also clearly a sentiment specific to our time, when religion is sometimes associated with beheadings and terrorist attacks and extreme violence.