Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster

Cardinal Vincent: Harness the potential within religious traditions for peace and just concern

At a conference on Religion, Identity and Conflict, at St Mary’s University on 2 December, Cardinal Vincent spoke of the role that religion can play in facilitating contact and dialogue between people to resolve conflict. Instead of marginalising religious belief or simply seeing it as a problem, he explained that ‘the potential within religious traditions’ can be harnessed ‘for peace and just concern’.

The Cardinal was responding to an address given by Dr Christopher Moran which outlined some of the contributing factors to the work for peace in Northern Ireland. Calling to mind too the situation in the Holy Land, he spoke of a similar initiative, led by Rabbi Michael Melchior, to bring together religious leaders from all three Abrahamic faiths to use ‘the strengths and resources of religious belief’ to seek peace in the Land and to work tirelessly to promote a life of mutual respect and to educate future generations, whilst continuing to call on political leaders to take initiative.

He recalled the words of Pope Benedict at the university on his visit to England in 2010: ‘He insisted that to find peace we have to move from seeing religious belief as a problem to be solved to understanding that it is a great resource to be rediscovered.’

‘In this country, we too are travelling the same road,’ added the Cardinal, ‘even if our steps are small. Dialogues are taking place, focusing on the nature and understanding of violence. The role of religious minorities is being quietly explored at a personal level, while more public bodies reconsider their attitude to religious belief.’

The conference was hosted by St Mary’s University in partnership with the Institut Catholique.

Latest news
  • Cardinal thanks Independent Anti-Slavery CommissionerCardinal thanks Independent Anti-Slavery Commissioner

    Cardinal Vincent Nichols, president of the Santa Marta Group (an international alliance of the Catholic Church and law enforcement officials, set up at the behest of Pope Francis), thanked Kevin Hyland for his dedication and leadership following h...

    more
  • Cardinal calls for prayers for people of Gaza

    Cardinal Vincent Nichols is keen that the Catholic community of Gaza should not be forgotten at this desperate time. In a statement issued on 16th May, he said:  ‘Today I have had a phone conversation with Fr Mario da Silva, the Catholic pari...

    more
  • Rejoice and Be Glad

    by Cardinal Vincent Nichols What is your picture of holiness? In your eyes, what does a saint look like? Pope Francis’ recent Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate (‘Rejoice and be Glad’) offers us his answers to these questions. He says that...

    more