DAILY CATHOLIC    THURSDAY     October 28, 1999     vol. 10, no. 206

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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        VATICAN (CWNews.com) -- After two days of discussions in Rome, the 230 participants in an inter-religious assembly traveled to Assisi on October 27, to pray together in the town made famous by St. Francis.

        The inter-religious prayer service was held on the 13th anniversary of the historic occasion when Pope John Paul II gathered leaders of many different faiths to Assisi for a day of prayer for peace.

        After the different religious leaders toured the Basilica of St. Francis--which has been extensively renovated since an earthquake two years ago-- Cardinal Francis Arinze convened their prayer meeting in the lower church. He introduced a Franciscan priest, Father Guenole Jeusset, who remarked that the gathering was taking place in an appropriate site. "St. Francis did not abolish the differences among religions, but he tore down the walls between them," the Franciscan argued.

        The gathering concluded when a Buddhist monk offered Cardinal Arinze a parchment containing the signatures of all the participants, as an indication of their thanks to the Vatican for hosting the meeting. Before a final dinner, the participants paused for a moment of prayer at the tomb of St. Francis in the crypt of the Basilica.

        The religious leaders spent the afternoon in tours of the region. They were scheduled to return to Rome for a meeting with Pope John Paul II on Thursday, October 28, before heading back to their respective homes.

Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

October 28, 1999       volume 10, no. 206


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