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Pope Urges Religious Community to Unite Against Violence


Pope Benedict XVI is urging all the world's religions to unite against what he calls "sinister and indiscriminate" violence.

The pontiff made the call Friday in Sydney, Australia before a group of interfaith leaders on the sidelines of the World Youth Day festival.

Benedict says the unified voice of the religious community can convince the rest of the world to resolve conflicts through peaceful means, and with "full regard for human dignity."

After the interfaith meeting, the pope offered a prayer to open the Stations of the Cross, a dramatic re-enactment of the last days of Jesus Christ.

More than 100,000 pilgrims have gathered in Australia from around the world for World Youth Day.

The six-day event, which began Tuesday, aims to rejuvenate the Catholic church and has been held in different host cities every two or three years since 1986.

During his address today, Benedict also warned the worldwide Christian community was at a "critical juncture," a reference to the potential schism in the Anglican church over the ordination of women and gays.

Bishops in the worldwide Anglican community are meeting in the British city of Canterbury for the once-a-decade Lambeth Conference.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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