Vatican insists on interfaith dialogue

Sep 12, 2012, 11:06 AM EDT
Pope Benedict XV greets faithful at the end of his weekly general audience in the Paul VI hall at the Vatican, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2012.
AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican underlined Pope Benedict XVI's push for dialogue among religions in the aftermath of the killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya by a mob enraged by an anti-Muslim film.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, issued a statement on Wednesday saying that "unjustified offense and provocations" against Muslims have "sometimes tragic results" that "nourish tension and hatred" and unleash "unacceptable violence."

The Vatican said respect for "beliefs, texts, outstanding figures and symbols" of all religious is "essential" for peaceful coexistence.

It is a message the pope will be taking on a trip to Lebanon that begins on Friday.

U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens was killed along with three of his staff members in an attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Tuesday night.