After Benedict’s speech, a Hindu nun in the crowd outside was interviewed. She said, “I feel very close to Benedict XVI; today’s event is a beautiful gesture on the part of the pope, and message of hope and peace. Among the many wonderful words that I have heard, I’ve been especially struck by the idea that God is love. The word ‘love’ brings us all together.” The words of this poor, benighted woman should make every true Christian weep, and pray. What a tragedy that this Hindu nun had never before heard the biblical truth, “God is love” (1 Jn. 4:8,16). But what a tragedy, too, that she had to hear it first from the pope of Rome, whose God is not the God of the Bible, and whose religion has murdered millions in the name of the false Roman Catholic god, all the while claiming it knows the God of love. This woman heard these wonderful words, “God is love”, but she was given no true understanding of what they mean; for she left with the false notion that because God is love, He accepts people of all religions, and in this “love” all religions can come together. This is not the meaning of those texts which say, “God is love.” How the heart of every true Christian should weep for such gross darkness of the soul; weep for the deception of Popery, of Hinduism, of every false religion; and pray for the Gospel to be sent throughout the earth!
Let us move on to consider the speeches of other religious leaders at the Assisi event. Speeches were delivered by the ecumenical Eastern Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople; the Anglican archbishop of Canterbury; the primate of the Armenian Diocese of France; the secretary-general of the World Council of Churches; the representative of the chief rabbinate of Israel; a representative of the Yoruba religion; a representative of the Hindu religion; the president of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism; the secretary-general of the International Conference of Islamic Schools; and a person representing “non-believers”.
We will analyse parts of the speeches of just some of those who spoke below: