(Paris) "The pope's video has led the way: certain meetings in the spirit of the New World Religion are now on the agenda," said Chiesa e Postconcilio. On January 17, the Archbishop of Tours, the Cistercian, Bernard Nicolas Aubertin-, are among guests invited. It's not just in his episcopal residence or one of the numerous parish halls, but in the Basilica of St. Martin. Archbishop Aubertin sat in the high choir on 17 January with an Imam, representatives of the Islamic and Buddhist community and other Christian denominations. On the steps of the high choir, the word Paix (peace) was projected.
The Quran was recited over the tomb of Saint Martin Martin of Tours
St. Martin was third bishop of Tours and was buried after his death in 397 in the city. Above his grave the great basilica of Saint Martin de Tours was soon built and became a great pilgrimage site of Latin Christendom.
In 732 Tours was the scene of Muslim looting that took place in the Frankish Empire from Spain. Charles Martel, the head of the House of the Merovingians, defeated them at the Battle of Poitiers and thus stopped the Muslim advance in the West.
In 1562 Protestants set alight the saint's tomb. Only some of his remains could be saved and buried in the grave anew.
During the French Revolution, the basilica, except for a few, still visible parts, was destroyed. In 1860 the grave of the saint was again exposed and they started over with the construction of a new basilica. In 1889 a new crypt for the grave was completed, and in 1925 the new basilica was consecrated.
Year of Mercy and Compassion in the Qur'an?
Xavier Gué, the church rector referred in his welcome to Saint Martin, who was a soldier. He had made his sword, with which he could kill the enemy, into an instrument of sharing.
Then all the religious leaders spoke for their respective communities. The Anglican representative quoted the prophet Micah and the Apostle Paul. An Imam sang the Fatiha, the initial chapter of the Koran.
Archbishop Aubertin presented a connection between the Year of Mercy and compassion in Islam.
The Dominican Jean-François Bour, Head of the Department for Interreligious Dialogue in the Archdiocese of Tours asked in conclusion for everyone to mutually support each other, to pray for one another and develop a desire "to live with our brothers in a benevolent and honest dialogue".
Toast in the Church
Then all those present were even invited to a "friendship cup" a drink held in the back of church.
"It remains completely unclear why church leaders are urged to carry out more and more foreign liturgical events liturgy in the church. If I want to come together with Muslims and Buddhists, then I do it somewhere, but not in the church. What are you offering here to substitute for the Liturgy and the encounter with Christ in the Sacrament?" Wrote a Catholic from Tours among the comments of Riposte Catholique about the" Interfaith Encounter" at the Basilica.