It is apparently true: as one commentator noticed in his own country, other than in some Italian dailies (and RAI, the Italian State network, that helped film it), the Assisi meeting generated only generic notes by news agencies reproduced by national or local papers. In most mainstream sources, it was ignored.
Should this be viewed:
(1) as something good, and perhaps the result of a successful effort to downplay the event?
or (2) as something not particularly good, in the way it feeds the ongoing notion that the Papacy (and all it represents) is becoming increasingly irrelevant (as in the repeated meme that the Vatican now feels as inconsequential as the Republic of Venice right before its fall to Napoleonic troops)?
Regardless of anything said or done in Assisi yesterday, events such as the one that took place there tend to be portrayed or seen in the secularized world as confirming what they see as the irrelevance and empty self-importance of faith in general - for many adult men and women, an assembly of religious leaders may look more purposelessly pathetic or pity-inducing than inspiring or scandalous. Perhaps the time has come for the ecclesiastical hierarchy to leave behind some frivolous notions of the second half of the 20th century, including the promotion of an amorphous "peace movement".
[Image: Ludovico Manin, last Doge of the Most Serene Republic of Venice.]