Saint Thomas Aquinas

Friday, October 28, 2011

Assisi Meeting 2011 Summary

Here is a link to the video from the Assisi meeting. Some of the talks were given in English if you are interested. Here is a link to the Holy Father's address, which I must say was quite lackluster and largely void of any meaningful content when it comes to evangelization. No mention was given to Christ as being the only way to salvation, nor was any attempt made to convey the fact that the Catholic faith was the one true faith. World peace was of primary concern, and the Pope actually made a connection to the first Assisi meeting and the fall of the Berlin Wall a few years after. The Holy Father did call into question the violence that atheism has brought upon mankind, and dispelled the myth that religion is the source of most violence. Towards the end he makes reference to agnosticism. He blames "believers" as a partial reason for their inability to convert. "Their inability to find God is partly the responsibility of believers with a limited or even falsified image of God." Overall, in my opinion, there was just not much offered here other than an appeal for men of all religions to live peacefully with one another.  Below are a few excerpts from his address.


Twenty-five years have passed since Blessed Pope John Paul II first invited representatives of the world’s religions to Assisi to pray for peace. What has happened in the meantime? What is the state of play with regard to peace today? At that time the great threat to world peace came from the division of the earth into two mutually opposed blocs. A conspicuous symbol of this division was the Berlin Wall which traced the border between two worlds right through the heart of the city. In 1989, three years after Assisi, the wall came down, without bloodshed...

As a Christian I want to say at this point: yes, it is true, in the course of history, force has also been used in the name of the Christian faith. We acknowledge it with great shame. But it is utterly clear that this was an abuse of the Christian faith, one that evidently contradicts its true nature...

The enemies of religion – as we said earlier – see in religion one of the principal sources of violence in the history of humanity and thus they demand that it disappear. But the denial of God has led to much cruelty and to a degree of violence that knows no bounds, which only becomes possible when man no longer recognizes any criterion or any judge above himself, now having only himself to take as a criterion. The horrors of the concentration camps reveal with utter clarity the consequences of God’s absence.

5 comments:

scotju said...

The next time they have a silly-ass meeting like this, get Coca-Cola to sponser it. Coke has this real nice frothy song they can all sing. "I'd like teach to world to sing..." Or maybe they can revive "We are the world..." Either one of these fluffy, empty tunes would work for Assisi IV.

JB said...

I don't understand how a reference was not made to Jesus Christ. Is this really the case? Maybe the pope was tired or having a "fear of the wolves" moment. Not the first time in papal history. More prayers for him.

JAK said...

Back in the day, Popes, such as Pius XI, forbade such ecumenical-cum-interreligious meetings for Catholics. How wise those words seem today!

Catholic Books said...

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God Bless

Neil Parille said...

Is it really the Catholic position that non-Christians should be encouraged to pray the their deities?

Does B16 think that when Hindoos pray to their deities that they are connecting, so to speak, with a spiritual force? Is this force the gods themselves or some spiritual entity common to all religions?