April 11, 2011

A Vatican-Jewish dialogue commission warned of a "moral crisis" in modern secular society, and said religions need to respond with prayer, charitable action and dialogue.

Believers today need to show through word and action that human rights are connected with moral duties, representatives of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and the Vatican's Commission for Religious Relations With the Jews said in a statement March 31.

The joint statement said while modern progress has brought many benefits, it has also been marked by "rampant consumerism and a nihilistic ideology with an exaggerated focus on the individual."

All that has led to a modern moral crisis, it said.

"Together with the benefits of emancipation, the last century has witnessed unparalleled violence and barbarity. Our modern world is substantially bereft of a sense of belonging, meaning and purpose."