The Truth about Assisi. Never-Before-Seen Words from Benedict XVI
"I will do everything I can to make a syncretistic or relativistic interpretation of the event impossible." In a letter from the pope to a Lutheran pastor, the real reason for the convocation of the encounter
by Sandro Magister
ROME, October 26, 2011 – The following is an extract from a letter written by Benedict XVI on March 4, 2011 to Lutheran pastor Peter Beyerhaus, a longtime friend who had told him about his fears over the new convocation of the day of Assisi:
"I understand very well," the pope writes, "your concern about participating in the encounter of Assisi. But this commemoration would have been celebrated in any case, and, in the end, it seemed to me the best thing to go there personally, in order to try to determine the overall direction. Nonetheless, I will do everything I can to make a syncretistic or relativistic interpretation of the event impossible, and to make it clear that I will always believe and confess what I had called the Church's attention to with 'Dominus Iesus'."
This is the original German of the passage from the letter:
"Ihre Sorge angesichts meiner Teilnahme an dem Assisi-Jubiläum verstehe ich sehr gut. Aber dieses Gedenken mußte auf jeden Fall gefeiert werden, und nach allem Überlegen erschien es mir als das Beste, wenn ich selbst dort hingehe und damit versuchen kann, die Richtung des Ganzen zu bestimmen. Jedenfalls werde ich alles tun, damit eine synkretistische oder relativistische Auslegung des Vorgangs unmöglich wird und klar bleibt, daß ich weiterhin das glaube und bekenne, was ich als Schreiben 'Dominus Jesus' der Kirche in Erinnerung gerufen hatte."
These never-before-seen words from pope Joseph Ratzinger were made public last October 1, with the authorization of the recipient of the letter, Pastor Beyerhaus, at the beginning of a conference organized in Rome by the association "Catholica Spes" on the meaning of the encounter in Assisi.
And previously, Beyerhaus had referred to it in an interview with the German newspaper "Kirchliche Umschau" last April.
But the matter went unnoticed. Only on the eve of the October 27 encounter was it revisited and reissued by a few traditionalist websites.
One of the speakers at the conference was Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, prefect of the supreme tribunal of the apostolic signatura, who said among other things:
"There are a number of dangers that such an encounter could bring in terms of the mass media communication of the event, of which – as it is clear – the pontiff is well aware. The means of mass media communication will say, even with the images alone, that all religions have come together to ask God for peace. A poorly formed Christian could draw from this the gravely mistaken conclusion that one religion is as good as another, and that Jesus Christ is one of the many mediators of salvation."
For an overview of the day to be celebrated tomorrow in Assisi, see the following article from www.chiesa