Italy: Naples interreligious meeting

Source: FSSPX News


Twenty one years after the interreligious meeting in Assisi, in October 1986, “over the past twenty years, the Sant’Egidio Community has wished to support and diffuse this spirit of Assisi summed up in the invitation which John Paul II made to everyone at the close of that historic day of prayer on October 26 1986: ‘Let us continue to spread the message of peace and to live the spirit of Assisi’. The next meeting will take place on October 23, in Naples, a city of great significance through both its history and its situation at the heart of the Mediterranean, an intersection of different religious traditions. The theme will be For a world without violence: religions and culture in dialogue” says their website:

On Sunday October 21, Benedict XVI will carry out a pastoral visit to Naples. “The Holy Father wishes to give a particular sign of his predilection, his love for the diocese of Naples, and so will come and greet, pray with, and above all encourage this Church, this community, to keep alive their faith in Christ, in the Church and also in accordance with what is a centuries-old tradition - a particular attachment of the diocese of Naples to the See of Peter and the universal Church. The Holy Father will surely succeed in instilling confidence in each one of us who work in a beautiful but often difficult context”, said Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, archbishop of Naples, on Vatican Radio.

Those taking part in the interreligious meeting have been invited to assist at the Mass which the pope will celebrate in the Piazza del Plebiscito at 10 am.. At the close of the Mass, the pope will visit the seminary of Capodimonte, where he will meet representatives of the different religions of the world. Among others, the ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I, the archbishop of Canterbury Rowan D.Williams, the Chief Rabbi of Israel Yona Metzger, the Rector of the Al-Azhar university in Egypt Ahmad Al-Tayyeb, the religious advisor of the President of the United Arab Emirates Ibrahim Ezzeddin and a Buddhist leader Gijun Sugitani.

“The choice of the city of Naples is no accident and neither is the date, which coincides with pope Benedict XVI’s pastoral visit to Naples, and is as much desired by the archdiocese as by the pope himself”, because of “the violence which the city of Naples experiences every day” and which is one of the major challenges of our times, explained Mario Marazziti, spokesman for the Sant’Egidio Community.

The international meeting for peace will open on October 21 late in the afternoon, after the departure of Benedict XVI from Naples. Talks and round tables will follow one another over three days, in the presence of cardinals. These will include cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, cardinal Edgar McCarrick, archbishop Emeritus of Washington, cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Unity of Christians and cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, archbishop of Bordeaux

Also taking part, will be metropolitan Kirill, head of the Department for External Relations of the Patriarchate of Moscow, Bartholomew I, the Patriarch of Constantinople and Chrysostomos II, the archbishop of Cyprus ; the pastor Jean-Arnold de Clermont, president of the Conference of Protestant Churches (sic) of Europe, the chief Rabbi of Israel, Yona Metzger and the chief Rabbi of Rome Riccardo Di Segni ; Muslim leaders ; Christine Boutin, French Minister of Housing and City; Michel Camdessus, former governor of the Bank of France ; Massimo D’Alema, Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs.

In 1986, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, did not participate in the Assisi meeting. And as pope, he has never taken part in any interreligious meetings organized in the spirit of Assisi. (Sources: Sant’Egidio/Apic/Zenit)