Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor issued the following statement to be read at all Masses in Westminster Diocese yesterday. Pope Benedict XVI, in a lecture widely reported, was essentially appealing for a dialogue of cultures based on faith and reason. It is quite clear to me that Pope Benedict has no intention of offending the sensibilities of our Muslim brothers and sisters. The Holy Father himself has expressed his sorrow if any passage in his speech sounded offensive to Muslim believers. What clearly emerges from his lecture is a radical rejection of any religious motivation or violence. For our part we will continue to develop good relations with the Muslim community in our country based on mutual respect and a common desire for justice and peace in our world. I myself will be standing alongside Muslim and Jewish leaders outside Downing Street this Sunday in a common witness to urge governments to do everything in their power to avert further death and destruction in Darfur in the Sudan. Please remember this intention in your prayers. Also pray for our fruitful inter-religious dialogue and cooperation in the future. +Cormac Card. Murphy-O'Connor Archbishop of Westminster
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