Release from Bishop Bernard Fellay, Superior General of
the Society of Saint Pius X, Concerning the Interreligious
Day of Prayer in Assisi on January 24, 2002.
John Paul II is inviting all the major religions of the
world, the Moslems in particular, to a great prayer meeting
in Assisi, in the same spirit of the first meeting for peace
that took place there in 1986. We are deeply distressed
by this event and condemn it totally.
it offends God in His first commandment.
it denies the unity of the Church and Her mission of saving
it can only lead the faithful into confusion and indifferentism.
it deceives the unfortunate infidels and members of other
problem does not lie in the object of the prayers-peace.
To pray for peace and to seek to establish and strengthen
peace between peoples and nations is a good thing in itself.
The Catholic liturgy is full of beautiful prayers for peace.
We pray these prayers with all our hearts. Moreover, given
the fact that the angels announced, on the birth of our
Lord .Jesus Christ, peace on earth to men of good will,
it is totally fitting to ask the faithful to implore the
One True God to grant us a gift of such great value at this
stage in the year.
reason for our indignation lies in the confusion, scandal
and blasphemy that result from an invitation from the Vicar
of our Lord Jesus Christ, sole mediator between God and
man, to other religions to come to Assisi to pray for peace.
has been stated that to avoid any syncretism, those attending
will not be praying "together," but that each
religion will pray in separate rooms in the Franciscan convent
at Assisi. Cardinal Kasper went so far - and rightly
so - to affirm that "Christians cannot pray with
members of other religions." (Osservatore Romano,
Jan. 5, 2002). However, this affirmation
is not enough to dissipate the dreadful uneasiness and confusion
caused by the event; it cannot be denied that all kinds
of religions will be praying "each in their own
camp" to obtain from these prayers said at the
same time, but in different locations, the same result:
peace. The fact that all have been invited to pray, at the
same time and in the same town, for the same intention is
clear proof of the desire for unity. On the other hand,
the fact that the prayers will be offered in separate locations
betrays the contradictory and impossible nature of the project.
In reality, the distinction is false, even though, thanks
be to God, it avoids a direct communicatio in sacris.
However, the syncretic nature of the operation is obvious
to all. Recourse to deceitful words has made it possible
to deny the painfully obvious reality. But words do not
mean anything any more: we will be going to Assisi, not
to pray together, we are going there together to pray ...no
establishment of civil (political) peace between nations
by congresses, discussions, diplomacy, with the intervention
of influential persons of different nations and religions,
is one thing. It is another to claim to obtain the gift
of peace from God by the prayer of all (false) religions.
Such an initiative is completely inconsistent with the Catholic
Faith and goes against the first commandment.
is not a question of individual prayer, that of one man,
in his own particular relationship with God, whether as
Creator or Sanctifier, but the prayer of different religions,
as such, with their own particular rite addressed to their
own particular divinity. Holy Scripture, (both the Old and
the New Testaments) teaches us that the only prayer pleasing
to God is that of Him, whom He established as sole mediator
between Himself and men, and that this prayer can only be
found in the one true religion. God considers an abomination
all other religions, especially idolatry, the summum
of all superstitions.
how can one hope to claim that religions that fail to recognize
the one true God can possibly obtain anything from Him?
St. Paul assures us that these false gods are fallen angels
the things which the heathens sacrifice, they sacrifice
to devils and not to God. And I would not that you should
be made partakers with devils. You cannot drink the chalice
of the Lord, and the chalice of devils: you cannot be partakers
of the table of the Lord, and of the table of devils (I
Cor. 10: 20-21).
these religions to pray is inviting them to make an act
that God reproves, that He condemns in the first commandment,
one God alone shall you adore. It is leading the members
of such religions into error and condoning their ignorance
still: this invitation implies that their prayers might
be useful, or even necessary, in order to obtain peace.
Almighty God made it perfectly clear what He thinks of this,
via the words of His apostle St. Paul:
not the yoke with unbelievers. For what participation hath
justice with injustice? Or what fellowship has light with
darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what
part hath the faithful with the unbeliever? And what agreement
hath the temple of God
with idols? For you are the temple of the living God; as
God saith: "I will dwell in them, and walk among them;
and I will be their God, and they shall be my people"
(II Cor. 6:14-16).
will never fully understand the struggle between the good
and the wicked throughout history, as long as we do not
see it as the personal and unyielding battle for all time
between Satan and Jesus Christ" wrote Archbishop Lefebvre
in all his wisdom (Spiritual Journey, p.37 [available
Press, Price: $7.95]). This fundamental truth, as far
as war and peace are concerned, would appear to have been
totally forgotten in the thinking behind the initiative
one point during the day, everyone will be gathered together.
When, then, will the participants hear the cry of the first
Pope, St. Peter: "Neither is there salvation in any
other. For there is no other name under heaven given to
men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts ). The same Jesus Christ, sole Savior, is
also the sole author of peace. But will anyone dare point
out these elementary truths to guests who are strangers
to Christianity? Fear of hurting their feelings will mean
that this absolutely essential condition for true peace
will be overlooked or reduced to a purely subjective belief
("for us Christians, Jesus Christ is God," etc.)
we have just pointed out: Not only is there only one true
God and "so that they are inexcusable" (Rom. ),
but there is also only one mediator (I Tim. 2:5), one sole
ambassador authorized by God, who intercedes ceaselessly
on our behalf (Heb. ). Religions which refuse to recognize His
divinity explicitly, such as Judaism and Islam, have no
chance of having their prayers answered, because of so fundamental
is a liar, but he who denieth that Jesus is the Christ?
This is Antichrist, who denieth the Father and the Son.
Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father.
He that confesseth the Son, hath the Father also (I Jn.
monotheistic appearances, we do not have the same God, we
do not have the same mediator. Only the mystical bride of
Christ (Eph. 5:32) has the prerogative of obtaining from
God, in the name of, and through, our Lord Jesus Christ,
any favors, in particular that of peace. Such is the faith
that the Church has taught and believed constantly, throughout
the ages and from time immemorial. This is, by no means,
a question of intolerance or of disdain for one's neighbor,
it is a question of an unchangeable truth. "No one
comes to the Father but through me" (Jn. 14:6).
make gestures, or to get others to make them, that no longer
express this, is to deceive oneself. It offends God, our
Lord Jesus Christ in whom He is well pleased, and His Holy
Church (Mt. ). How can those who refuse this mediation
- as do the Jews and Moslems explicitly, in refusing
to recognize His divinity - possibly hope to have
their prayers answered? The same goes for those who refuse
to accept the Church's role as mediator.
Paul II has attempted to justify the prayer meetings in
Assisi on several occasions. In fact, one of his arguments
is founded on the definition of prayer. "All authentic
prayer comes from the Holy Ghost, who dwells mysteriously
in every soul." Inasmuch as one attributes the correct
meaning to the word "authentic," one could accept
the first part of the sentence. But it is obvious that one
cannot say that the prayer of a Buddhist, before an idol
of Buddha, or that of a witchdoctor smoking the peace pipe,
or that of an animist, is authentic.
only authentic prayer is true prayer addressed to the true
God. It is totally wrong to qualify a prayer addressed to
the devil as authentic. Can the prayer of a fanatical terrorist,
before crashing into the Manhattan tower, "Allah is
great," be called authentic?
he convinced that he was doing the right thing, doesn't
that make him sincere? It is clear that a purely subjective
way of looking at things is not sufficient to make a prayer
second part of the sentence: "the Holy Ghost dwells
mysteriously in every soul," or in every man, is certainly
false. The word "mysteriously" can be misleading:
in Catholic theology, as in Holy Scripture, the dwelling
of the Holy Ghost is directly linked to the presence of
sanctifying grace. One of the first formulae used in baptism
consists of commanding the devil to leave the soul in order
to let the Holy Ghost enter it. This demonstrates quite
clearly that the Holy Ghost did not dwell in the soul before
baptism. And so, the justification for the interdenominational
day of prayer at Assisi is based on a false premise.
wishing to promote dialogue, which requires considering
the other party in a highly positive light, argue that there
is much good in other religions, and, given that God is
the sole source of good, God is at work in other religions.
This is pure sophistry, based on the lack of distinction
between natural order and supernatural order. It goes without
saying that, when one speaks of the action of God in a religion,
one implies a work of salvation. This means God who saves
by His grace. His supernatural grace. On the other hand,
the good referred to in other religions, (non-Christian
ones at any rate) is merely natural; in such cases, God
is acting as Creator, who gives being to all things, and
not as savior. The determination of the Vatican II Council
to dispense with the distinction between the order of grace
and natural order bears, in this respect, its most poisonous
fruits. The result is the worst sort of confusion, that
which leads people to think that any religion can finally
obtain the greatest favors from God. This is a huge fraud,
a ridiculous error.
is in keeping with the Masonic plot to establish a grand
temple of universal brotherhood above allreligions
and beliefs, "Unity in diversity," a concept so
dear to the New Age and to globalization.
were excommunicated by Clement XI in 1738 because of our
interdenominational principles. But the Church was definitely
in error, if it is true that, on October 27, 1986, the present Pope
gathered together men of all religious confessions in Assisi
to pray for peace. What else are our brothers looking for
when they gather together in temples, than love between
men, tolerance, solidarity, defense of the dignity of the
human being, considering themselves equal, above political
and religious beliefs and the color of their skin? (Grand
Master Armando Corona, of the Grand Lodge of the Spring
Equinox, Hiram- Voice of the Grand Orient of ltaly,
thing is certain: there is no better way to provoke the
anger of God.
is why, despite our strong desire for the peace of God,
we will have absolutely nothing to do with this day of prayer
on January 24th, in Assisi. Nullam partem.