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Posted July 26, 2006

Pope says being silent about Christianity will not increase peace

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In the name of peace, many people are tempted to think it is better not to speak about religion or their specific faith, but that runs the risk of giving free rein to those who abuse religion and the name of God, Pope Benedict XVI said.

The pope made his comments July 23 at the tiny parish in the village of Rhemes-Saint-Georges, near where he was vacationing in the Italian Alps. The Vatican press office July 25 published a transcript of the pope's unprepared remarks to parishioners during the evening prayer service for peace in the Middle East.

"Today in a multicultural and multireligious world, many are tempted to say, 'It is better for peace in the world among religions and cultures not to talk too much about the specifics of Christianity, that is, of Christ, the church and the sacraments,'" the pope said. Many people reason to themselves, "Let's be content with the things we have more or less in common," he said. But that will not increase the chances for peace, the pope said.