Pope Benedict XVI: October 2011 Archives

Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson.jpg

The "Day of reflection, dialogue and prayer for peace and justice in the world: Pilgrims of Truth, Pilgrims of Peace," is to take place in Assisi on 27 October. The event needs our prayer and solidarity.

Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace had a press conference in which he said, "Following two and a half decades of collaboration and joint witness among religions, it is time to assess the results and to re-launch our commitment in the face of new challenges."

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).

The Pope has new wheels

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Pope Benedict, 84, is feeling the natural and unavoidable effects of being a senior citizen. If you've ever walked around the Vatican Basilica you would recognize the great distances one has to traverse to get from point A to point B. To ease the strain, Pope Benedict has restored the use of Blessed John Paul II's wheeled platform as a manner of getting around St Peter's Basilica.
Pope and Carthusians 2011.jpgIn speaking at a Charterhouse on October 9, Pope Benedict contrasted modern life and the monastic life saying that society "throws light on the specific charism of the Carthusian monastery as a precious gift for the Church and for the world, a gift which contains a profound message for our lives and for all humanity. I would summarise it in these terms: by withdrawing in silence and solitude man, so to speak, 'exposes' himself to the truth of his nakedness, he exposes himself to that apparent 'void' I mentioned earlier. But in doing so he experiences fullness, the presence of God, of the most real Reality that exists. ... Monks, by leaving everything, ... expose themselves to solitude and silence so as to live only from what is essential; and precisely in living from the essential they discover a profound communion with their brothers and sisters, with all mankind".

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This vocation, the Pope went on, "finds its response in a journey, a lifelong search. ... Becoming a monk requires time, exercise, patience. ... The beauty of each vocation in the Church lies in giving time to God to work with His Spirit, and in giving time to one's own humanity to form, to grow in a particular state of life according to the measure of maturity in Christ. In Christ there is everything, fullness. However we need time to possess one of the dimensions of His mystery. ... At times, in the eyes of the world, it seems impossible that someone should spend his entire life in a monastery, but in reality a lifetime is hardly sufficient to enter into this union with God, into the essential and profound Reality which is Jesus Christ".

"The Church needs you and you need the Church", the Holy Father told the monks at the end of his homily. "You, who live in voluntary isolation, are in fact at the heart of the Church; you ensure that the pure blood of contemplation and of God's love flows in her veins".

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.



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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Pope Benedict XVI category from October 2011.

Pope Benedict XVI: September 2011 is the previous archive.

Pope Benedict XVI: November 2011 is the next archive.

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