This is a crucial moment in world history; wars are raging, countries are forming and terrorists are plotting. The opportunity to make positive change and bring about good in the world is right at our fingertips. But in order to make a lasting impact, we as a global community need to be united. This is why I was so disappointed in Pope Benedict XVI and the Vatican for releasing a document stating that Roman Catholicism is the only true path to salvation. The document also said that other Christian and Orthodox communities are either defective or not true churches. These actions by the Catholic Church are a big blow to the movement for peace and unity amongst religions and nations.

The Vatican’s message alienates the billions of people around the globe who do not subscribe to the faith of the Catholic Church. In a time when wars are raging over religious differences in the Middle East, the Pope not only missed an opportunity for healing, he fueled the already searing fire. And he didn’t just hurt his church’s chance at bringing in new members; he tainted all religions by trying to play God.

The Pope’s message was wrong, and I’m sure some day he’ll ask God for forgiveness because of it. I can only hope that he is cognizant of the frightful world we now live in, and the need for unity and understanding amongst all nations, despite political, religious and personal views. However, in the meantime, we as faithful people of various religions, faiths and denominations must take the high road, the road our savior demanded that we take, and forgive him for his beliefs. Unity depends on it. If he won’t welcome us, then we need to welcome him, so we can continue on the journey to oneness.