Rorate Caeli

Pope explains why he is going to Assisi-III

In April, we mentioned a letter that Pope Benedict XVI sent to his friend, Lutheran minister and professor Dr. Peter Beyerhaus, as a response to a missive sent by the latter on the risks involved in the new Assisi gathering (October 27, 2011).

In a conference promoted by traditional-minded Catholics that took place last Saturday in Rome on the meaning of the Assisi gathering (Cardinal Burke was one of the speakers at the conference), the relevant passage of the Pope's private letter to Beyerhaus was revealed:

"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'."

The Declaration "Dominus Iesus" brings good memories to many Catholics, including many converts. One hopes that its presence will be felt in Assisi, which on these days celebrates the transito of its greatest son.


  1. Anonymous8:27 AM

    The Text of the Pope letters was revealed in the April Edition 2011 of the lefebvrist monthly "Kirchliche Umschau" (Germany). The original german text speaks not from "Dominus Jesus"????

    "Aus diesem Schreiben geht hervor, daß die Initiative für diese Jubiläumsveranstaltung, die er freilich für erforderlich hielt, offenbar nicht von ihm selbst ausgegangen war. Er werde jedoch hingehen und, wie er wörtlich schreibt, „versuchen, die Richtung des Ganzen zu bestimmen und alles tun, damit eine synkretistische oder relativistische Auslegung des Vor- gangs unmöglich wird.“ Ausdrück- lich stellte er mir frei, eine öffentliche Stellungnahme dazu abzugeben, bat aber darum, „dabei erkennen zu las- sen, daß ich das Vertrauen habe, daß der Papst zu dem steht, wozu er von seinem Amt her gerufen ist – dazu, seine Brüder im Glauben an Jesus Christus als den einzigen Sohn Gottes und Erlöser zu stärken und ihn selbst unmißverständlich zu bekennen.“

  2. Yes, we mentioned it in April, as we said in the post itself... But that was not the whole letter, but Beyerhaus's account of the letter; this is an actual passage of the letter.


  3. Anonymous10:11 AM

    It's unfortunate that it took a non-Catholic Lutheran "pastor" to explain the the Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church the errors and danger of another one of these "Assisi meetings".

    John Paul II made this mistake 2x. Why does Benedict XVI have to make the same inexcusable error just to commemorate his predecessor and his first 2 errors?


  4. Anonymous11:28 AM

    Anonymous 10:11:
    Can you perhaps even acknowledge the content of this letter? If the Holy Father truly intends to exclude by his actions and words on the day any possible syncretistic or relativistic interpretation and to make clear his affirmation of the content of Dominus Iesus, then this leaves me hoping that October 27th will be one of the most significant and positive days of this pontificate.

    If the Holy Father were to go as far as explicitly preaching, to the assembled pagans, that one must believe in Jesus Christ and belong to the Catholic Church in order to be saved--would the event still be "inexcusable error?" In my view, if an event is to occur on October 27th, we should pray for the Holy Father to do something courageous.

  5. This is no excuse on the part of the pope. The great scandal against the First Commandment that he will cause is beyond belief!

  6. Father Ignotus12:07 PM

    I cannot remember exact details, but at a recent event I attended at which the mayor of Assisi spoke, he made comments that sounded very much like this event was going to have a much different focus than the 1986 one. I remember being quite satisfied with what I heard.

  7. Anonymous12:33 PM

    Peculiar this necessity to mark 25 years of the first Assisi meeting calling all the various religions together once again, knowing what happened in 1986. Would be better in for it to disappear in the "dimenticatoio".

    I'm sure the Holy Father will be clear that not all religions are on the same footing....but I am not convinced calling on all the other religions to be present will be effective in the clarification of this. People remember actions and images more than least I do.

    We can probably go on about what "we" all have in common till the cows come home, but that will not change the Truth. And our good Holy Father does not need the likes of me to remind him of this for I recall that, as Cardinal, he was against these events.

    Maybe there is something HE knows that no-one else does? Maybe something else is afoot. Maybe he will do what Anon 11.28 says...Maybe, just maybe....

    Hoping and praying....


  8. Maybe the HF wil use this event to offer the TLM in public.

  9. However, this commemoration would have to have been celebrated in some way ...

    I'm impossibly naive.

    If the Pope did not show-up, if he said nada about this nonsense, if he merely maintained silence, that would be a shout heard around the world that this B.S. must cease.

    Good Lord. Is what Pope Blessed John Paul Ii did in each and everyone of his actions the new Ecclesiastical Orthopraxis that must be faithfully followed?

    Is it the case that The Catholic Church can change The Mass but it can not refuse to celebrate even the execrable actions of the previous Pope?

    This is very, very, depressing, especially after reading Dom Prosper Gueranger's,"The Liturgical Year," and the fantastic entry on Saint Francis who was so bold as to go to Syria and preach The Gospel to the Mahometans: "He himself, desirous of an opportunity of martyrdom, sailed into Syria; but the Soldan treated him most kindly;..."

    Ahhhh, but that was then and this is now and maybe Flip Wilson, as Reverend Leroy, was on to something with his "Church of what's happening now."

  10. Bernonensis1:49 PM

    The Pope intends to be there "to determine the direction of it all"? Spendid; the credit or the blame for what happens will fall completely to him, with none of the usual "wicked underlings" excuses.

  11. I find it sad to find so many proud and know-it-all catholics that believe have authority to pass judgment on the holy father based on their own bias and incomplete information makes me wonder where is the charity towards the supreme pontiff and how come they can´t give him the benefit of the doubt even when he is affirming that he knows the risks in the meeting and will do his best to avoid repeating what happened in Assisi I.

    If you are worried about the outcome of Assisi III the best thing to do is to pray that the holy father has enough courage to face the modernist wolves around him and use this meeting to declare Jesus Christ as the only lord and king of the universe.

  12. Blayne3:22 PM

    An important test for the Holy Father. He has my prayers and support in this. I think he might surprise some people here.

  13. Matthew4:00 PM

    Let us all pray that the Holy Father will "preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews indeed a stumblingblock, and unto the Gentiles foolishness."

  14. So, he is basically saying that because it would happen without the Catholic Church there, then he should go represent the Catholic Church anyways?

    "I will nevertheless do everything in order that a syncretistic or relativistic interpretation of the event will be impossible..." EXCEPT, of course, refusing to go, which would certainly be the clearest way to uphold Dominus Iesus. Oh, but that would break off "ecumenical dialogue"... right...

    It is sad it seems he is resorting to a syncretic gathering just to promote the Catholic Church. This must be what "New Evangelization" means; viz., dialoguing, not teaching.

  15. Spartacus and Bernonensis:

    Very well put.

  16. Dear Edgar. As soon as I read the announcement about it in here, I joined with the SSPX campaign of praying a rosary every single day for the Pope and I am not judging Our Holy Father; that judgment is Jesus' alone.

    And I am quick to publicly confess that he is an infinitely holier man than am I and infinitely better read, educated etc etc.

    When it comes to every category that I can think of, Our Holy Father is a Sun compared to which I am but a nearly extinguished wick in a teeny votive candle.

    And, still, I have enough light to see that the Assisi Fiasco was an abomination of the first order and it is scandalous that Our Holy Father will attend the Anniversary of that initial indefensible and execrable scandal rarher than let it pass without comment.

    It is not that he has no other things he could be doing.

    Why, why, why, why, why,why, why must Our Holy Father repeat the, I will be charitable as possible here, novel actions of Pope Blessed John Paul II?

    And the next Pope, will he too be expected to go to Assisi for the Pray-ins; must he too go to Synagogues to be lectured to by Rabbis and not preach the Gospel, Jesus, and conversion; will he too be expected to go to the Blue Mosque and pray inside it and not preach The Gospel, Jesus, and conversion there but will tell them how wonderful they are?

    For those of us a certain age, for those of us raised in the era when Mortalium Animos was a tautology, these actions by our Popes are so shockingly out of step with 2000 consecutive years of Ecclesiastical Orthopraxis that it is imposible that we can become inured to them unless our Faith has become so diluted as to alert us to the fact that we may be failing this test of Faith.

  17. Anonymous7:02 PM

    Anonymous 08:27

    Can you please refrain the the
    pejorative"lefebvrist"? gia abbastanza!

  18. Steve7:23 PM

    "God wishes to establish in the world, devotion to My Immaculate Heart." -Our Lady of the Rosary at Fatima, 7-13-1917

    The best possible outcome for the Holy Father would be to grant God's wish mentioned above.

  19. Anonymous7:43 PM

    Archbishop Lefebvre was correct about 'ivory towers' : I think the pope should go to Assisi.

    A religious.

  20. \\Archbishop Lefebvre was correct about 'ivory towers' : I think the pope should go to Assisi.\\

    While I would not attend such a gathering on my own initiative. the Pope is the Chief earthly Pastor. Not only Catholics, but non-Catholic Christians, and even non-Christians are part of this flock.

    If he believes this is the best way to go after the lost sheep--which is the duty of the good shepherd--it is not for us to question his actions or motives.

    Most holy Theotokos, save us.

  21. syncretistic or relativistic interpretation of the event will be impossible

    The only way this can be accomplished is if he preaches Christ to them.

    Otherwise the Modernists will surely twist it as they do with everything that gives them an inch.

  22. Anonymous8:45 PM

    Ditto Jack.

    A religious.

  23. Anonymous9:58 PM

    Brother Anthony said...The great scandal against the First Commandment that he will cause is beyond belief!
    Can you also share tomorrow's lotto numbers with me?

  24. Anonymous10:22 PM


    "If he believes this is the best way to go after the lost sheep--which is the duty of the good shepherd--it is not for us to question his actions or motives."

    I wrote a comment somewhat simimlar to yours but in a tongue-in-cheek way. Apparently, the moderators here thought I was being disrespectful, so they didn't post my comment. I was, however, trying to get across the same point you have made, but in a humorous way.


  25. Anonymous12:24 AM

    Hail Sparticus,
    Wouldn't it be great if Pope BXV1 said at Ass 3, "I have listened patiently to all of you (pagans, heretics, protestants, schismatics, jews,et al) and know fully what we have in common. Thank you.

    I wish now to preach the good news of Jesus Christ to you, that which you do not have, that which was handed down through the centuries in the Catholic Church from St. Peter to this very day,and is entrusted to my hands.

    There is no salvation outside the Catholic Church...."


  26. Anonymous4:10 AM

    Barbara, I fully agree with your comment God bless you.

    Edgar, I am also with you on this one I think many in of the people hear are sure that the Holy Spirit is not guiding the Holy Father anymore.

    Sad time we live in, when some Catholics think that the Holy Father ought act according to how they see fit.
    It's the attitude of if "WE" were running the Church everything would be better.

    I for my part believe the Holy Spirit is guiding Benedict XVI and I might not agree with everything he says or does but I am not the Vicar of Christ on this earth, I leave that job to the Pope.

  27. Anonymous4:23 PM

    Anon 4:10

    I agree.


  28. Hidden One1:15 AM

    I have never been able to criticize the Pope in a humble and charitable manner.

    I have hope for this Conference. His Holiness is full of surprises.

  29. Perhaps B. XVI will NOT attend the Assisi III meeting. According Zenit:

    "Missing from the schedule is the previously announced pilgrimage to Assisi on Oct. 27, which will mark the 25th anniversary of the World Day of Prayer for Peace, convoked by Pope John Paul II in 1986."


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