The epicenter of Assisi

Source: FSSPX News

On October 18 the news agency Zenit announced the interreligious meeting in Assisi using an odd term:  “The Franciscan shrine of Assisi will become again, on October 27, the epicenter of the peace movement, following in the footsteps of John Paul II twenty-five years later.”  The word epicenter denotes the place on the earth’s surface directly above the focus or hypocenter of an earthquake, the place where the subterranean rupture originates.  And since the seismic waves travel the shortest distance to reach the epicenter, this is the spot where they have the most energy and cause the most significant damage.

Epicenter seems inappropriate, unless Zenit had intended an allusion to the earthquake that struck Assisi on September 26, 1997, during which the roof of the Basilica of St. Francis collapsed, killing four persons.

But is this term really inappropriate?  Isn’t the Assisi gathering designed and built right over a profound rupture with the traditional teaching of the Church?  Pius XI declared in Mortalium animos (1928) concerning interreligious meetings:  “Certainly such attempts can nowise be approved by Catholics, founded as they are on that false opinion which considers all religions to be more or less good and praiseworthy, since they all in different ways manifest and signify that sense which is inborn in us all, and by which we are led to God and to the obedient acknowledgment of His rule.”  And Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre wrote to eight cardinals on August 27, 1986:  “The Church is shaken to its very foundations. If faith in the Church, the only ark of salvation, disappears, then the Church herself disappears. All of her strength, all of her supernatural activity is based on this article of our faith.”

Fr. Alain Lorans

You can also read :
Society of St. Pius X: Prayers of reparation for the interreligious meeting in Assisi
Official program for the interreligious meeting in Assisi (October 27, 2011)