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But as soon as we are wolves, we are beaten."In Italian, the "temptation" Pope Benedict speaks of is even more graphic: literally "a wolf among wolves".The message for religious leaders is clear: in a wolf-run world, people of faith must be sheep if peace is to stand a chance.
It was a bold, imaginative act by John Paul II, the kind of symbolic gesture that perhaps only a pope is capable of organizing; and all the more powerful for taking place in the town associated with perhaps the greatest peacemaker in Christian history.
on the 2002 meeting, I was taken by the famous story of St Francis and his famous taming of the Wolf of Gubbio, seeing it as a powerful metaphor for the way in which faith can build peace.
. for Days and Hours 7 minutes- it might be interesting to speculate about which faith leaders have what one might call ''attachments'' to state power (the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, for example, or representatives of various Middle-Eastern royal families) and to what extent these cripple their prophetic capacity for peace.
The final loss of the papal states during the era of Pius IX, a man who condemned democracy and advocated a Roman Catholic theocracy for all nations, may have been the best thing to happen to the Roman Catholic church since the time of Constantine.
There will be speeches by, among others, Patriarch Bartholomew I, Archbishop Rowan Williams, Rabbi David Rosen, a representative of the International Conference of Islamic Schools, and a non-believer, Professor Julia Kristeva.
After lunch there will be time for "silence, reflection or personal prayer" for the delegates in the convent of the Basilica before the delegates head up for a gathering outside the Basilica of St Francis here in the main town, where they make a joint commitment to peace.
Those who make a conscious or explicit rejection of the Church's Magisterium usually (but not always) choose the end of the pontificate of Pope Pius XII (r. These are the sedevacantist heretics -a minority wing of the movement whose partisans style themselves as "traditionalists." Many who appropriate this label for themselves recognize at least in the abstract the pontificates of Pius XII's successors but they differ amongst themselves as to their allegience to the post-Pius XII popes -from marginally loyal to outright schismatic.
The defacto result either way of course is the same: a lack of obedience to the Church's Magisterium in the persons of Pope John Paul II and the bishops who are in communion with him.
Anyway, enjoy the beautiful town of Assisi and make sure you bring a scarf as the wind blows hard there at times.
I've posted this before, but Gubbio can be present in every inner-city as we have done at my parish in San Francisco..