Rorate Caeli

Pope apparently not initiator of Assisi-III

In a personal note of the Pope to Prof. Dr. Peter Beyerhaus, he apparently hints at not having been the initiator - hence, responsible for - of the religious meeting in Assisi later this year.

In Kirchliche Umschau, April 2011), Prof. Beyerhaus summarizes the content of the letter as follows:

"It can be derived from the letter that the initiative for this anniversary event, which he indeed considered necessary, apparently did not stem from him. He will, however, attend and, as he writes literally, 'try, to determine the direction of the whole and do everything [in his power] to render impossible a syncretic or relativistic explanation of the happening.' He explicitly allowed me to deliver a public opinion on this, but requested 'to make noticeable, that I trust that the Pope stands firm on what he is called upon by his office - that is, to strengthen his brothers in the faith in Jesus Christ as the only Son of God and Redeemer and to unambiguously confess Him'."

[Free translation of the commentary by the editors of the website:]

These words are both nice and sad. Nice, because the event was not authored by the Pope. Nice, because the Pope wants to suppress the syncretism of the earlier events. Nice, also, because the Pope wants to make sure that there is no doubt about his mission as a herald of faith for Jesus Christ, de obly-begotten Son of the Father.

But why can't he cancel the event? "The pressure is too big", many will say. ... The commentator also mentions that there is a slight sign that the Pope does not consider the event very harmful ("which he indeed considered necessary"). Why is it necessary? For the faith of Christians? For the power politics in the Vatican? In this regard, the Sant'Egidio community is mentioned, which it is said to have a lot of money and to be quite powerful lobbyists.

What is more sad, though, is the fact that the Pope does not want to admit the great damage [of the event - translator note]. With the express allowance for publication, the writing seems to be a way of consolation for conservative Catholics.

Of course, every convinced Catholic will be happy that the Pope sees his job in unambiguously confessing Jesus Christ as Son of God and Redeemer. But it is exactly this "unambiguously" what Assisi is about. The religious meetings are nothing but ambiguous! Unless... the Pope would publicly announce that no one will be saved, unless through Jesus Christ. If he does not do this, Assisi 2011 will be just another brick for the construction of the free-thinking world religion [literal translation].

Of course, such a proclamation would be the death-blow for interreligious meetings. And that is something that associations like Sant'Egidio do not want. They see the papacy as a way to unite the religions, WITHOUT considering the question of truth (Wahrheitsfrage).

So, all remains as it was. Only, the Pope assures that it is his personal conviction is that he has the task to confess Jesus as only true Son of God.

But this personal integrity of his conviction was never a subject of debate.

What is debated is the act, in front of millions of people, that is capable of constituting a tremendous act of betrayal: betrayal of the claim of Christ, the Son of God, to be the founder of the only true religion.