Pope to hold peace summit

Jan. 2, 2011 at 2:08 AM
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VATICAN CITY, Jan. 2 (UPI) -- Pope Benedict XVI, spiritual leader of the world's Catholics, said Saturday he will hold a peace summit of religious leaders from around the globe this fall.

The gathering will be held in Assisi, Italy, in October, the Catholic News Agency reported. The summit will coincide with the 25th anniversary of the first World Day of Prayer for Peace, Vatican Radio said.

Benedict also asked Catholics to pray "for peace throughout the world."

"I invite all of you to join in heartfelt prayer to Christ the prince of peace for an end to violence and conflict wherever they are found," the pontiff said in an address delivered soon after a bomb attack at a Coptic Christian church in Egypt.

"Facing the threatening tensions of the moment, especially discrimination, injustices and religious intolerance, which today strike Christians in a particular way, once again, I make a pressing appeal not to give in to discouragement and resignation," he said.

The BBC said the aim of the summit will be for the religious leaders to discuss how they can promote world peace. The pope, speaking at St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, said it would be an opportunity "to solemnly renew the effort of those with faith of all religions to live their faith as a service for the cause of peace," the British network said.

Pope John Paul held a similar event in 1986, which was attended by leading Jews and Muslims, as well as the Dalai Lama and the archbishop of Canterbury, the BBC noted.

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