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Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Pope Benedict determined to stop syncretism personally at Assisi

"Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi"

Photo credit: Mr G's travels

Yesterday, Rorate Caeli has an important article with Pope Benedict's own resolution concerning the forthcoming meeting at Assisi. Many Catholic have expressed concerns about the meeting and especially the danger that it might promote or condone syncretism. To a Lutheran pastor who expressed such concerns, the Holy Father wrote:
"I understand quite well - Benedict XVI wrote on March 4, 2011 - your concern regarding the participation at the Assisi meeting. However, this commemoration would have to have been celebrated in some way and, all things considered, it seemed to me that the best thing would be for me to personally go there being thus able to determine the direction of it all. I will nevertheless do everything in order that a syncretistic or relativistic interpretation of the event will be impossible and so that what will remain is that I will always believe and confess that which I had called to the attention of the Church with [the Declaration] 'Dominus Iesus'."
This quotation was read by Cardinal Burke at a conference promoted by traditional Catholics last week in Rome. I hope that it can offer some reassurance to those who are worried about the Assisi event, since it would obviously be the Holy Father's own desire that his thoughts on the matter be made known.

The Declaration Dominus Iesus is one of the highlights of Cardinal Ratzinger's time as Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Declaration states:
Theological faith (the acceptance of the truth revealed by the One and Triune God) is often identified with belief in other religions, which is religious experience still in search of the absolute truth and still lacking assent to God who reveals himself. This is one of the reasons why the differences between Christianity and the other religions tend to be reduced at times to the point of disappearance. (Dominus Iesus n.7)
Pope Benedict will surely have this in mind when he visits Assisi.
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