Vatican City

Religion 'essential' in peace-building, says new pope

Recalls St Francis's care for environment

Religion 'essential' in peace-building, says new pope

Vatican City, March 22 - Religion plays an ''essential'' role in building bridges for peace, Pope Francis said at his first audience with ambassadors accredited to the Vatican on Friday. ''It is not possible to build bridges without encountering God'' but "nor is it possible to have true ties with God while ignoring other people'', he said. The Argentine pope who was elected to succeed Benedict XVI at a conclave of cardinals on March 13 also recalled his namesake St Francis of Assisi's teaching of respect for all creation and care for the environment, ''which all too often we do not use for good, but eagerly exploit inflicting reciprocal damage''.

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