30 years after the first interreligious meeting set up by John Paul II, in Assisi, on October 27, 1986, Pope Francis will be present for the “World Day of Prayer for Peace” that is to close the Interreligious Summit for Peace organized by the community of Sant’Egidio.
Francis will arrive in Assisi by helicopter on Tuesday, September 20, around 11 am. He will be met at the Poor Clare convent by the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I, the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, and the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Aphrem II. Also present will be a representative for the Muslims, for the Jews, as well as the supreme head of the Japanese Tendai Buddhist school. These religious leaders will gather in the Sixtus IV cloister to meet the other representatives of worldwide religions and the Catholic bishops of Umbria… In all 400 representatives are expected to participate in this 30thanniversary of the meeting, whose slogan, this year, is “Thirsting for peace. Religions and cultures in dialogue”.
“This new meeting at Assisi is not simply to recall the meeting of 1986,” says Marco Impagliazzo, president of Sant’Egidio, “it is to gather as a matter of urgency in the face of the explosion of violence linked to religion.” The issue, he says, is to “completely separate violence and religions.”
At 4 pm, prayers for peace will take place “in a number of places”, according to the Vatican Press Office, in order to avoid any confusion amongst religions, according to the sophisticated distinction put forward in each Assisi prayer meeting: “to be together to pray, and not to pray together.” However, at the same time, an ecumenical prayer with a number of Christian confessions will take place in the lower basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.
The closing ceremony will begin at 5:15 pm on the plaza of St. Francis of Assisi. Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino of Assisi will open this ceremony with a brief greeting. A war victim witness will speak. Then Patriarch Bartholomew I will deliver a message. He will be followed by the Muslim representative and then the Jewish representative, the Japanese supreme head of Buddhism, and finally by Andrea Riccardi,founder of Sant’Egidio. Pope Francis will then give an address, after which an appeal for peace will be read out before being put into the hands of children from a number of countries. Then a moment of silence will be held in honour of all the victims of wars. Finally, during the signing of the peace appeal, two candles will be lighted, before the final exchange of peace.
(Sources: kipa-apic.ch – iMedia – La Croix – DICI no. 340, 09/09/16)
Let us pray alongside the Christian martyrs of today
A new interreligious meeting is to take place in Assisi on September 20, 2016, with Pope Francis presiding. Armed with the constant teachings of the Popes up until the Second Vatican Council, the Society of St. Pius X will not pray with the 400 representatives of worldwide religions who will invoke the beliefs of Mahomet, Buddha, Confucius and Kali alongside the profession of the Catholic Faith: I believe in one God, Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, born of the Father before all ages.
The Society will pray with and for those who are currently undergoing persecution for their fidelity to the Catholic Credo, those Christians martyred in Egypt, in Syria, in Iraq, in Nigeria, in Pakistan, in Thailand, in Indonesia, in the Philippines…
The General Chapter of the Society of St. Pius X made a point of recalling in its concluding statement of July 14, 2012: “We unite ourselves with the other Christians undergoing persecution in countries throughout the world who are suffering for the Catholic Faith, frequently to the death. Their blood, shed in union with that of the Victim on our altars, is the sign of the renewal of the Church in capite et membris, in accordance with the old saying, ‘sanguis martyrum semen christianorum’.” (See DICI no. 259, 10/08/12)
To ask God for peace, without any ecumenical equivocation or interreligious ambiguity, the Society of St. Pius X adopts the words of the Collect of the Feast of Christ the King, instituted by Pius XI: “Almighty and everlasting God, who in Thy beloved Son, the King of the whole world, hast willed to restore all things, mercifully grant that all the kindreds of the nations that are divided by the wound of sin, may be brought under the sweet yoke of His rule
Fr. Alain Lorans