Bahai News - The world's faithful seek peace
The world's faithful seek peace
By Stephen Huba, Post staff reporter
opening procession of children carrying Tibetan prayer flags to the
strains of a black gospel choir singing ''This Little Light of Mine,''
Sunday's Millennium Peace Celebration at Xavier University lived up to
its name in both the small gestures and the sweeping statements.
Dance, choral music, prayers and rituals from seven world religions
coalesced into a 2 1/2-hour liturgy of inclusiveness, turning Xavier's
new Cintas Center into a temple for one afternoon.
''Peace is that
goal that is so elusive,'' said the Rev. Damon Lynch Jr., celebration
emcee. ''We have all come here today to say to the world, 'If you seek
peace, if you want peace, then it can be done.' ''
whose main purpose was to inaugurate Xavier's Brueggeman Center for
Interreligious Dialogue, was likely the largest interfaith celebration
ever in Cincinnati, organizers said.
On Saturday, 11 houses of
worship representing six faith traditions held open houses.
throughout the weekend were 11 members of the International Peace
Council, a body of religious leaders who are working for peace in their
homelands. Amond the leaders on the stage Sunday was keynote speaker
Mairead Corrigan Maguire, co-winner of the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize.
Mrs. Maguire encouraged the 3,000 people in attendance to learn the
''language of love,'' regardless of their religious tradition.
''Every single one of us today have something to do to build a
nonviolent culture,'' she said. ''I believe that the great religions of
the world can speak to the world, but it must be said in the language of
Mrs. Maguire, a Roman Catholic, criticized the new Vatican
document ''Dominus Iesus,'' which clarifies the relationship of the
Catholic Church with other world religions. Mrs. Maguire called the
document exclusionary and harmful to the progress of interreligious
''I do not accept it,'' she said. ''What kind of creator
would only give the truth to a few and leave the rest behind?''
Maguire was referring to the document's assertion that people outside
the Catholic Church are in a ''gravely deficient situation'' regarding
The document, drafted by the Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith, is highly critical of a trend within some
Catholic theological circles to consider all world religions equally
Organizers of Sunday's celebration said their event was in
line with the documents of Vatican II on religious freedom and
''This is our statement on the
respect we have for other churches and religions,'' said Xavier theology
professor Brennan Hill, a chief organizer of the Peace Celebration.
''The church recognizes the truth and saving power of other
Alongside the Christian tradition, there were prayers
and songs for peace from Buddhists, Jews, Muslims, American Indians,
Hindus and Baha'i adherents.
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