Pope Benedict XVI said in his Christmas Eve mass on Monday that religion can be corrupted, leading to violence and wars, but refuted critics who claim that denying God’s existence would lead to peace.
“It is true that religion can become corrupted… when people think they have to take God?s cause into their own hands, making God into their private property,” the pope told thousands gathered in Saint Peter’s basilica.
“Monotheism, belief in one God, is said to be arrogance, a cause of intolerance, because by its nature, with its claim to possess the sole truth, it seeks to impose itself on everyone,” Benedict said.
However, “while there is no denying a certain misuse of religion in history, yet it is not true that denial of God would lead to peace,” he added.
“Down the centuries, while there has been misuse of religion, it is also true that forces of reconciliation and goodness have constantly sprung up from faith in the God,” said Benedict, whose campaign against religious violence is one of the cornerstones of his papacy.