· Benedict XVI receives the participants of the meeting in Assisi in audience ·
“The journey of the spirit is always a journey of peace,” said Benedict XVI summarizing the most authentic message of the meeting in Assisi, which concluded yesterday evening, Thursday, October 27th, with a common commitment renewed by the world’s religious leaders and representatives of non-believers in the lower square of St. Francis. The Pope re-iterated this commitment this morning, Friday 28th when he once again met with the delegations that participated in the day in Assisi, this time at the Vatican. A meeting, the Pope said, which “is representative of the billions of men and women throughout our world who are actively engaged in promoting peace and justice.” It was also a sign of friendship and fraternity, “which has flourished as the fruit of the efforts of so many pioneers in this kind of dialogue,” he said. The Pope expressed the hope that, “this friendship continue to grow among all of the followers of the religions of the world and with men and women of good will everywhere.”
Benedict XVI also remembered Pope Wojtyla, “Looking back,” he said, “we can appreciate the foresight of the late Pope John Paul II in convening the first meeting in Assisi and the constant need for men and women of different religions to give witness to the journey of the spirit which is always a journey of peace.”
Returning to the experience in the city of St. Francis, the Pontiff said he was certain that it had been an event which was, “significant for the cause of peace,” because of the willingness to come together that was shown by “so many men and women, inspired by their deepest convictions,” who renewed their commitment to work, “for the good of the human family.”
This concept was later re-iterated by Cardinal Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone, at the end of a lunch for the delegates in the Atrium of the Paul VI Hall. Referring to the difference between the frenetic environment of the city of Rome, which has hosted the delegates, and the calm felt yesterday in Assisi, the Cardinal noted how this change denotes, “the complexity of the world which, with its riches and its contradictions, is waiting for our testimony of peace.” Testimony which the Pope has entrusted especially to new generations, saying yesterday in Assisi, “there are many who are committed to overcoming violence and division.”
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