Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Different faiths, same witness: How Vatican explains prayers for peace
cns ^ | June 5, 2014 | Cindy Wooden

Posted on 06/05/2014 3:58:45 PM PDT by NYer

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Popes pray for peace; it is part of their ministry. And when war is raging or peace negotiations seem hopelessly bogged down, recent popes have invited leaders of other Christian traditions and other faiths to join them in prayer.

Pope Francis has put a twist on the interreligious prayer gathering by inviting political leaders, Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, "to come to the Vatican to pray together with me for peace." The event was scheduled for June 8, the day many Christians celebrate Pentecost.


Pope Francis embraces Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the start of an arrival ceremony at the presidential palace in Bethlehem, West Bank, May 25. (CNS/Paul Haring)

When leaders of different religions come together and pray for a common cause, they are not only appealing to God, they also are showing the world they believe that followers of different religions are still brothers and sisters before the one who created them.

That is not the same as ignoring religious differences or pretending those differences do not matter.

"It should be evident to all who participate that these occasions are moments of being 'together for prayer, but not prayer together,'" said guidelines for interreligious dialogue published in late May by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

"Being able to pray in common requires a shared understanding of who God is," the document said. "Since religions differ in their understanding of God, 'interreligious prayer' -- meaning the joining together in common prayer by followers of various religions -- is to be avoided."

The distinction between praying together and praying at the same time is one Vatican officials have found increasingly necessary to emphasize as popes have led more and more interfaith gatherings for peace.

St. John Paul launched the interreligious prayer for peace gatherings in Assisi in 1986. He asked Catholic, Orthodox, Muslim and Jewish leaders in particular to join him in Assisi in for a smaller gathering in 1993 as war raged in the Balkans. And, in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States, he and other religious leaders returned to Assisi in January 2002 to pray and proclaim to the world that violence committed in God's name is an abomination.

Pope Benedict XVI was one of a few Vatican officials who decided not to attend the 1986 Assisi meeting and voiced concern about how it might appear to downplay important religious differences. However, he marked the 25th anniversary of the gathering with his own invitation to religious leaders -- and secular humanists -- to join him in the hometown of St. Francis in 2011.

The commemoration included a public moment of silence and a "solemn renewal of the commitment to peace," but no public prayers.

The next day, back at the Vatican, Pope Benedict told the religious leaders: "Meetings of this sort are necessarily exceptional and infrequent, yet they are a vivid expression of the fact that every day, throughout our world, people of different religious traditions live and work together in harmony."

And, sometimes, while not praying together, they pray alongside each other.


Pope Benedict XVI and Mustafa Cagrici, the grand mufti of Istanbul, pray silently in the Blue Mosque in Istanbul in this 2006 file photo. (CNS file/pool via Reuters)

Visiting Istanbul's Blue Mosque in 2006, Pope Benedict and an imam stood in silence, facing Mecca. Reflecting on the moment a few days later, the pope said, "divine providence allowed me to make a gesture that initially was not foreseen, but which, in the end, turned out to be very significant."

"Pausing a few minutes in recollection in that place of prayer," he said, "I turned to the one Lord of heaven and earth, merciful father of all humanity" and asked that "all believers recognize that they are his creatures and give a witness of true brotherhood."

The witness to brotherhood was a key point for St. John Paul in 1993 when the conflict in the Balkans shocked him and other Europeans who believed war on the continent was a thing of the past. The pope invited representatives of the predominantly Orthodox Serbs, Catholic Croats and Muslims from Bosnia-Herzegovina to join him in Assisi.

In the face of violence and war, St. John Paul told the religious leaders, "we cannot help but use the resource of believers; that resource is prayer. This is our strength; this is our weapon. In the face of instruments of destruction and death, in the face of violence and cruelty, we have nothing other than recourse to God with our words and our hearts. We are not strong or powerful, but we know that God will not ignore the pleas of those who turn to him with sincere faith, especially when the present and future fate of millions of people is at stake."

The pope and his guests first met together to listen to the experiences of refugees and others who had experienced the war first hand. Then, for the prayer, the Catholics went into the upper Basilica of St. Francis, and the Muslims and Jews went to separate rooms in the Franciscan convent attached to the church.

Meeting together and praying at the same time for the same intention, "in itself will be a living witness and a happy foreshadowing of the gift we intend to request," St. John Paul said. "Each of us came here motivated by fidelity to our own religious tradition, but also knowing and respecting the traditions of the others."

"May peace reign among us," he said. "The differences that separate us will remain," but coming together will let others see that "the secret of a humanity finally reconciled lies only in mutual acceptance of the other and, consequently, with mutual respect deepened by love."



TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Prayer; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: catholic; ecumenism; francis; pope; popefrancis; vatican

1 posted on 06/05/2014 3:58:45 PM PDT by NYer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Tax-chick; GregB; Berlin_Freeper; SumProVita; narses; bboop; SevenofNine; Ronaldus Magnus; tiki; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 06/05/2014 3:59:06 PM PDT by NYer ("You are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears." James 4:14)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer
When leaders of different religions come together and pray for a common cause, they are not only appealing to God, they also are showing the world they believe that followers of different religions are still brothers and sisters before the one who created them.

This is "we are the world" ecumenical trash which, as the text even lets on itself, makes all religions equal under the same God "who created them." This is exactly the sin we must be avoiding, this "equality" of all religions under "one God," when they do not worship God, but idols.

This was one of the things that ticked me off so bad about the Republican National Convention. They had Mormons on stage leading prayers, making their religion equal with Christianity, and this Pope is no different in his guilt.

"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?"(2Co 6:14-15)

"If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."(2Jn 1:10-11)

1Co 16:22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.

3 posted on 06/05/2014 4:10:25 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans (I mostly come out at night... mostly.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

Funny...never saw Peter, Paul, James or any of the other apostles praying in the roman temples.


4 posted on 06/05/2014 4:11:02 PM PDT by ealgeone (obama, borderof)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

What would Pope Urban II do?


5 posted on 06/05/2014 4:30:14 PM PDT by ConservativeInPA (We need to fundamentally transform RATs lives for their lies.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: NYer

IMHO, Catholics, orthodox. Jews, Lutherans, Calvinists, Unitarians largely anyway, baptists, Methodists, Copts, Adventists and many more denominations all pray to the over true (biblical) God. We have a thousand differences but we pray to the right guy. I have no problems sharing a prayer with almost any of these believers, and yes- I can then debate our differences with just as much vigor as before. Call me ecumenical if you wish, even call me mistaken. But there it is. I cannot however share a prayer session with someone who believes in a book that instructs him to kill or subjugate us. I cannot pray with someone whose “god” seeks our death and destruction. Your Holiness, please read that book before you Invite or befriend any more of its adherents. I respectfully submit that such gestures mislead the faithful into thinking that there’s no significant difference between God and Satan.


6 posted on 06/05/2014 4:36:38 PM PDT by faithhopecharity ((Brilliant, Profound Tag Line Goes Here, just as soon as I can think of one..))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Greetings_Puny_Humans

Modernist and ecumenical trash indeed.


7 posted on 06/05/2014 4:37:17 PM PDT by piusv
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: faithhopecharity

I don’t think Unitarians belong on that list.


8 posted on 06/05/2014 4:39:43 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: GeronL

Thanks. You’ll notice I qualified that orb a bit. Some uua’s believe in the biblical true God, some don’t. This may reflect the two different major paths that led to today’s combined Unitarian Universalist Association However that may be, I do agree with you that at least some of them probably aren’t best included. Thanks! Ps: ( at least they don’t preach to kill us , though!)


9 posted on 06/05/2014 4:43:40 PM PDT by faithhopecharity ((Brilliant, Profound Tag Line Goes Here, just as soon as I can think of one..))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: faithhopecharity

they do have that going for them. heh


10 posted on 06/05/2014 4:48:49 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

The next day, back at the Vatican, Pope Benedict told the religious leaders: "Meetings of this sort are necessarily exceptional and infrequent, yet they are a vivid expression of the fact that every day, throughout our world, people of different religious traditions live and work together in harmony."

Either interreligous group prayer is right or it is wrong. It can't be "necessarily exceptional and infrequent".

PRAYER WITH NON-CATHOLICS FORBIDDEN

Are heretics and schismatics excommunicated? Yes; they have no part in the Communion of the Saints. Catechism of the Summa

If any ecclesiastic or layman shall go into the synagogue of the Jews or to the meeting-houses of the heretics to join in prayer with them, let them be deposed and deprived of communion. If any bishop or priest or deacon shall join in prayer with heretics, let him be suspended from communion. II Council of Constantinople

That Christians and ecclesiastics should pray for Christian unity under the direction of heretics and, what is worse, according to an intention which is radically impregnated and vitiated with heresy, is absolutely impossible to tolerate! Ven. Pope Pius XI

One must neither pray nor sing psalms with heretics, and whoever shall communicate with those who are cut off from the communion of the Church, whether clergy or layman: let him be excommunicated. Council of Carthage

No one shall pray in common with heretics and schismatics. Council of Laodicea

11 posted on 06/05/2014 4:54:50 PM PDT by ebb tide
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ebb tide

Oh, you and your pre-Vatican II Church teaching!!


12 posted on 06/05/2014 4:56:35 PM PDT by piusv
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: GeronL

Yes that’s a plus compared with the “ religion of peace” ( boy if there was ever a case for False Advertising, there it is!!! ). Have a happy day, I need to check outta here fir awhile, best, fhc


13 posted on 06/05/2014 4:58:59 PM PDT by faithhopecharity ((Brilliant, Profound Tag Line Goes Here, just as soon as I can think of one..))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: NYer
This is our strength; this is our weapon.

How is it possible to square praying to false gods or encouraging others to pray to false gods with the First Commandment? To consider prayer to false gods a "weapon" is seriously irrational.

When Padre Pio felt the need of a weapon, he called for his Rosary.

14 posted on 06/05/2014 6:36:29 PM PDT by BlatherNaut
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ebb tide
No one shall pray in common with heretics and schismatics.

Or witch doctors or animists or Buddhists, etc. (who were all invited to pray for peace to their false gods at Assisi).

Muslims and Jews reject Christ, yet the Vicar of Christ invites them to pray with him. Are we to believe that after the prohibitions declared by previous Councils and Popes, the Holy Ghost has now changed His mind regarding the error of this type of religious co-mingling?

15 posted on 06/05/2014 6:52:03 PM PDT by BlatherNaut
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: BlatherNaut
Did you ever think a man who did this:

Would be elected to the Chair of Peter by his peers prior to the "New Pentecost"?

16 posted on 06/05/2014 7:25:04 PM PDT by ebb tide
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: All
Pope Francis has put a twist on the interreligious prayer gathering by inviting political leaders, Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, "to come to the Vatican to pray together with me for peace." The event was scheduled for June 8, the day many Christians celebrate Pentecost.
"...they have misled my people, saying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace..."
-- Ezekiel 13:10a

17 posted on 06/05/2014 7:35:34 PM PDT by Alex Murphy ("the defacto Leader of the FR Calvinist Protestant Brigades")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ebb tide

Is that Francis? Looks like an abominable Charismatic meeting. He’s getting hands laid on him by those weirdos?


18 posted on 06/05/2014 10:22:19 PM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans (I mostly come out at night... mostly.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: Greetings_Puny_Humans

No, this was the recent “Catholic” Charismatic meeting Francis attended and got prayed over:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWcujx1II2w

Yuck.


19 posted on 06/06/2014 2:04:39 AM PDT by piusv
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Greetings_Puny_Humans

But, yes, that is Francis getting blessings from Protestant ministers.


20 posted on 06/06/2014 2:06:00 AM PDT by piusv
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: BlatherNaut
The distinction between praying together and praying at the same time is one Vatican officials have found increasingly necessary to emphasize as popes have led more and more interfaith gatherings for peace.

More Modernist double-speak. They perfected that in the Vatican II documents. It's Clintonianism at its best: it depends what the definition of "is" is.

I am so sick at this point at what the Vatican II Church has become.

21 posted on 06/06/2014 2:46:20 AM PDT by piusv
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: ebb tide

A priest who submits to this type of “blessing” is exhibiting the fruits of Diabolical Disorientation. The positions of the participants are inverse to their proper orientation.


The Beautiful Hands of a Priest.

We need them in life’s early morning,
We need them again at its close;
We feel their warm clasp of true friendship,
We seek it while tasting life’s woes.

When we come to this world we are sinful,
The greatest as well as the least.
And the hands that make us pure as angels
Are the beautiful hands of a priest.

At the altar each day we behold them,
And the hands of a king on his throne
Are not equal to them in their greatness
Their dignity stands alone.

For there in the stillness of morning
Ere the sun has emerged from the east,
There God rests between the pure fingers
Of the beautiful hands of a priest.

When we are tempted and wander
To pathways of shame and sin
‘Tis the hand of a priest that absolve us.
Not once but again and again.

And when we are taking life’s partner
Other hands may prepare us a feast
But the hands that will bless and unite us,
Are the beautiful hands of a priest.

God bless them and keep them all holy,
For the Host which their fingers caress,
What can a poor sinner do better
Than to ask Him who chose them to bless

When the death dews on our lids are falling,
May our courage and strength be increased
By seeing raised o’er us in blessing
The beautiful hands of a priest.


22 posted on 06/06/2014 6:14:39 AM PDT by BlatherNaut
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: piusv

Did you see this version? Goofy, frenetic, aerobic “dancing” and kindergarten style music. Pope Francis sitting there looking on approvingly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AfRvVk-5CL4


23 posted on 06/06/2014 6:24:36 AM PDT by BlatherNaut
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Greetings_Puny_Humans; piusv

The photo was taken when he was still Archbishop Bergoglio.


24 posted on 06/06/2014 7:33:11 AM PDT by ELS
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: ELS; piusv; Greetings_Puny_Humans

Does that make a difference?

>>If any bishop or priest or deacon shall join in prayer with heretics, let him be suspended from communion. II Council of Constantinople<<


25 posted on 06/06/2014 11:03:00 AM PDT by ebb tide
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: BlatherNaut

Nobody really talks about the Holy Ghost, and the sins that offend Him, anymore.
Rather they seem focused on some imaginary Spirit of VCII.


26 posted on 06/06/2014 11:35:38 AM PDT by ebb tide
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: piusv

“I am so sick at this point at what the Vatican II Church has become.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOAfGKcLJUY


27 posted on 06/06/2014 12:48:26 PM PDT by BlatherNaut
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: ebb tide
Does that make a difference?

I was just clarifying that the photo was taken before he became Pope.

28 posted on 06/06/2014 1:37:16 PM PDT by ELS
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: ELS

Did you read Post 16? No clarification was necessary.


29 posted on 06/06/2014 1:49:27 PM PDT by ebb tide (Some "catholics" don't even realize they're protestants. They have both feet outside the door.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: BlatherNaut

All we need is a lavender colored one to make it complete.


30 posted on 06/06/2014 2:24:21 PM PDT by piusv
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson