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Pope Addresses Jewish Group About Faith and Human Dignity

12 May 2011 – by Cindy Wooden

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — One of the greatest contributions believers in God can make to the struggle for human rights is to strengthen awareness that human beings are created in God’s image, Pope Benedict XVI told representatives of a major Jewish human rights organization.

Meeting a 21-member delegation from B’nai B’rith International May 12, the pope said recent Catholic–Jewish dialogue meetings have focused on “our shared religious duty to combat poverty, injustice, discrimination and the denial of universal human rights.”

While charity is important, he said, “one of the most important things that we can do together is bear common witness to our deeply held belief that every man and woman is created in the divine image and thus possessed of inviolable dignity.”

Pope Benedict also said Christians and Jews should have a common commitment to promoting a healthy view of the role of religion in society “as a corrective to a purely horizontal, and consequently truncated, vision of the human person” that ignores their connection to the divine and the eternal.

Believers should give witness to their belief that “a loving, compassionate providence guides the final outcome of history, no matter how difficult and threatening the journey along the way,” he said.