Pope Francis will be present at the 5th interreligious meeting of Assisi.
30 years after the first interreligious meeting set up by John Paul II, in Assisi, on October 27, 1986, Pope Francis will be present for the “World Day of Prayer for Peace” that is to close the Interreligious Summit for Peace organized by the community of Sant’Egidio.
Francis will arrive in Assisi by helicopter on Tuesday, September 20, around 11am. He will be met at the Poor Clare convent by the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I, the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, and the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Aphrem II. Also present will be a representative for the Muslims, for the Jews, as well as the supreme head of the Japanese Tendai Buddhist school. These religious leaders will gather in the Sixtus IV cloister to meet the other representatives of worldwide religions and the Catholic bishops of Umbria…
In all 400 representatives are expected to participate in this 30th anniversary of the meeting, whose slogan, this year, is “Thirsting for peace. Religions and cultures in dialogue.”
This new meeting at Assisi is not simply to recall the meeting of 1986,” says Marco Impagliazzo, president of Sant’Egidio, “it is to gather as a matter of urgency in the face of the explosion of violence linked to religion.”
The issue, he says, is to “completely separate violence and religions.”
At 4 pm, prayers for peace will take place “in a number of places,” according to the Vatican Press Office, in order to avoid any confusion amongst religions, according to the sophisticated distinction put forward in each Assisi prayer meeting: “to be together to pray, and not to pray together.” However, at the same time, an ecumenical prayer with a number of Christian confessions will take place in the lower basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.
The closing ceremony will begin at 5:15 pm on the plaza of St. Francis of Assisi. Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino of Assisi will open this ceremony with a brief greeting. A war victim witness will speak. Then Patriarch Bartholomew I will deliver a message. He will be followed by the Muslim representative and then the Jewish representative, the Japanese supreme head of Buddhism, and finally by Andrea Riccardi, founder of Sant’Egidio. Pope Francis will then give an address, after which an appeal for peace will be read out before being put into the hands of children from a number of countries. Then a moment of silence will be held in honour of all the victims of wars. Finally, during the signing of the peace appeal, two candles will be lighted, before the final exchange of peace.
Sources: kipa-apic.ch – iMedia – La Croix – DICI no. 340, 09/09/16