Barcelona to Host 2010 Peace Meeting

Interreligious Congress Promotes Spirit of Assisi

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KRAKOW, Poland, SEPT. 9, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Barcelona, Spain, will be the next city to host an interreligious and intercultural meeting in "the spirit of Assisi," which is promoted by the Sant'Egidio Community.



This year's International Meeting of Prayer for Peace took place in Krakow, as a continuation of the first interreligious and intercultural meeting called in 1986 in Assisi by Pope John Paul II.

Tuesday, at the end of the three-day event, the archbishop of Barcelona, Cardinal Lluís Martínez Sistach, announced that his city will host the next meeting.

The cardinal, who gave an address in Krakow titled "Living Together in a Plural World," expressed his pleasure at being able to host the 2010 meeting.

He affirmed, "These meetings intend to keep alive the so-called spirit of Assisi, which was manifested in the Interreligious Day of Prayer for Peace promoted by John Paul II, held in St. Francis' city on October 27, 1986, and attended by 130 religious leaders of Christian churches and communities, and major religions of the world."

The Sant'Egidio Community has organized several meetings in key European cities to give continuity to that initiative of Pope John Paul II.

The latest, held in Krakow, was attended by numerous personalities and representatives of different religions, who gathered to reflect together and pray for peace on the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II.

This meeting, said Cardinal Sistach, "seems to me to be in tune with Barcelona's tradition of hospitality."

Referring to the message that Benedict XVI sent to those gathered in Krakow, the cardinal explained that the event seeks "to promote forgiveness and reconciliation against the violence, racism, totalitarianism and extremism that disfigure God's image in man."
 
The prelate concluded, "I am confident of the collaboration of the authorities, institutions, different religions and citizens of Barcelona for the success of this International Meeting of Prayer for Peace."