The Pope’s called for a few days (a journey) of reflection on truth and peace in the world in Assisi on October 27. This gesture recalls the first Assisi meeting of religious leaders in 1986. But you know this. You’ve also heard that among some rigid Catholic-types there’s been an expressed outrage. Sad, I think. The past events have been “interesting” due to the way the event was organized and perhaps on how it was conceived to bring non-Christians together for prayer when the notion of prayer is not common to all religions and philosophy, but a complete dismissal of the gesture is unwarranted. I trust that Pope Benedict knows what he’s doing. The emphasis is not on prayer; the papal emphasis is on a pilgrimage. The list of participants is incomplete but it is expected that those who participate will represent the major religions and philosophies of the world and number under 100.

The theme for the Assisi meeting: “A Day of Reflection, Dialogue and Prayer for Peace and Justice in the World: Pilgrims of Truth, Pilgrims of Peace.”

The program for the Assisi meeting was rolled out today (in Italian).