During his visit, Pope Francis, in collegial union with leaders from other faiths at ground zero, prayed for peace and denounced violence — especially that savage violence from the toxic mix of radical religious fundamentalism with extreme politics.
The empathy of these spiritual leaders toward relatives of victims of the World Trade Center catastrophes portrayed the best of their respective religious beliefs — beliefs that are often criticized for hypocrisy and subject to outright denial by the modern, secular world.
Missing, perhaps, from the group was a secular moralist — an individual along the lines of Mark Twain, who once said, “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”
Collectively, they would have provided a glimpse of a worldview guided by spiritual ideals of human dignity and respect for nature, yet one governed by rationality — a world motivated and measured by its treatment of the most vulnerable within it.
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