Thursday, October 13, 2011

Cardinal Turkson: The Pope Will be Praying with Catholics, Not at Assisi

Edit: it looks like the Pope is going to be in Rome, praying with Catholics, and the Assisi meeting's going to be more of a cultural event.

President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace: This year's meeting of religious leaders will not include inter-faith prayers

Vatican ( "The emphasis this time is on a pilgrimage and not prayer," said Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, to CNA.

On the 27th of October in Assisi, Pope Benedict XVI. has invited 200 representatives of all religions, but he's also invited representatives from science and culture.

"In fact, as I understand the program - and it's still going to happen - there will be no prayer, or very minimal," says the Cardinal, a native of Ghana, one of the main organizers.

The present title of the meeting is called "Pilgrimage of Truth, pilgrims of freedom". It will be the twenty fifth anniversary of the world peace meeting which was held by John Paul II in 1986.

Cardinal Turkson recalled why the meeting in 1986 had drawn criticism even on himself from some Catholics groups: while he and two other African priests were assigned a Rome at Cithy Hall and a few non-Catholics were allowed to have a Church. Events like this would have triggered protests at that time.

On the even of the meeting, a vigil will be held at St. Peter's Square. "thus, the prayer will not take place there (in Assisi), it will take place here (in Rome), and meanwhile, the Pope will be among his people, other Catholics."

In ASsisi there will be a time of silence for individual prayer after lunch. All will then go into the St. Francis Basilica, where each delegate will make a promise to peace.

Even representatives of culture and science, including atheists or agnostics have been invited by the Pope since peace, is "a concern for believers and non-believers".

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