As the 26th International Meeting for Peace, organised by the Sant'Egidio Community in Sarajevo gets underway, Cardinal Bertoni, Vatican Secretary of State has sent a message on behalf of Pope Benedict to Cardinal Vinko Puljic, archbishop of Vrhbosna-Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, greeting representatives of Churches, Christian communities and the great world religions, "as well as the population of Sarajevo who are particularly dear to him".
"It is a source of joy and comfort to see that this pilgrimage for peace, which was begun at Assisi in October 1986 by Blessed John Paul II, continues to bear fruit", the cardinal writes. He likewise recalls how Benedict XVI relaunched, also from Assisi, "the alliance between people of religion and others who feel no sense of belonging to any religious tradition but who are sincerely seeking the truth. He did so in the conviction that profound and sincere dialogue can lead, for the former, to commitment to an ever necessary purification of the religion they profess and, for the latter, to openness to the great questions facing humankind and the Mystery which surrounds the life of man. In this way, the joint pilgrimage towards truth can be translated into a joint pilgrimage towards peace".
"The Holy Father", Cardinal Bertone concludes, "in the hope that the meeting will prove fruitful, spiritually unities himself to all those present, in the certainty that the Lord, Father of all mankind, will continue to guide us along the paths of peace and of peaceful encounter between peoples".