· From ecumenical dialogue to the meeting in Assisi ·
In Italy, preparation for the Day of reflection, dialogue and prayer for peace and justice in the world in Assisi on October 27th, convened by Benedict XVI, has been marked by a variety of events that will involve local communities. There are at least two qualifying elements: the importance of the Franciscan tradition in the construction of a culture of dialogue and peace and the need to multiply opportunities to increase understanding between religions in Italy.
The need to construct peace assumes a prophetic value because of the difficulty of witnessing those values on which peace is built, beginning with the search for justice in the world. With this in mind, the Franciscans of Campania, in Parlargine di Ponticelli, will hold a meeting on Sunday, October 23rd, connected to the preparations for the Assisi meeting, to reinforce the commitment of the Christian vocation of being witnesses to peace in the world.
A meeting on Thursday, 27th, sponsored by the Office of Ecumenism and Inter-religious Dialogue of the Archdiocese of Matera and the local Franciscan community, hopes to offer the city a moment of reflection, dialogue and prayer in the light of the “spirit of Assisi” on how believers can live their faith in the service of peace.
Particularly significant is the celebration of ecumenical prayer on Friday, 28th in Frosinone, presided over by Bishop Ambrogio Spreafico, followed by a meeting with the local Islamic community. This will highlight how the “spirit of Assisi” moves all Christians not only to pray for an ever-increasing visible unity, but also to rediscover a common vocation in dialogue with others.
On Thursday, 27th, a day of study promoted by the Institute of Ecumenical Studies San Bernardino of Venice, can be considered an example of the effectiveness of the synthesis of rediscovering the Franciscan tradition for peace together with action for the development of dialogue between religions.
The multiplicity of events in preparation for the meeting in Assisi show that many of the baptized in Italy have welcomed the invitation to become “pilgrims of truth, pilgrims of peace,” and to give witness to the light of Christ which illuminates the world.
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