1) Assissi and the meeting of Interfaith leaders with Pope Benedict: October 2011 feedback
Violence for God... violence against God: Assisi pilgrims for world peace
In his remarkable talk at the Day of Reflection in Assisi, Pope Benedict XVI said that directionless freedom becomes freedom for violence and that false religion and militant atheism both lead to untold violence in today’s world. He summed up his own argument as follows:
…there is a way of understanding and using religion so that it becomes a source of violence, while the rightly lived relationship of man to God is a force for peace. In this context I referred to the need for dialogue and I spoke of the constant need for purification of lived religion. On the other hand I said that the denial of God corrupts man, robs him of his criteria and leads him to violence.
The Pope went on to assert that agnostics challenge both sides – the militant atheists in their false certainty about the non-existence of God and the religious people who consider God as their own property. For this reason a number of agnostics were invited to the Assisi gathering.
The uniting factor for all present was to be together on a journey towards truth, taking a decisive stand for human dignity and common engagement for peace in the world.
The full text can be found through this link.
Celia Blackden, Churches together in England, Interfaith Officer. 08/11/2011
A matter more local to us individually is this year’s Inter-Faith Week at the end of this month.
In Newcastle we begin with a Walk for Peace on Saturday 22nd, which has become an annual event. It begins at the Hindu Temple, and includes a Christian Church, the Central Mosque, prayers at the gate of what was once the first Synagogue in the City of Newcastle before concluding at the Sikh Gurdwara for lunch. The Walk includes prayers at each centre of worship and lunch following prayers at the Gurdwara.
Other events and meetings are timetabled for the following six days.
If you would like to add any events, particularly for the Inter-Faith Week, please let us know at email writing page for this site.
John Clasper - Editor
1st October 2011