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With regard to the Ordinary Magesterium, and what we must believe. Things like the Assisi gathering are a bit hard for many, myself included to swallow. It is also hard to tell what is real and what is spin at such events. For example. It is not sinful to gather with people of any faith and agree to pray together for peace, and justice. One can attend non-catholic services for a good reason if one does not participate in an active manner. Examples of this would be to attend the wedding of a family or friend, or some other event that honors someone we know. So participating in a Sept. 11th Memorial even though it was not conducted by Catholic clergy would also be appropriate. If a non-Catholic minister leads a prayer, it is fine to bow your head and offer a silent prayer for the repose of the souls of those who died, and that their family would be comforted.

We do not know fully what the intents of Pope John Paul II were in attending the Assisi events or those of Pope Benedict. While the leaders of different groups do hold public services, I have never seen any evidence that the Pope acutally took part in them aside from being an observer. It is also a way of opening up the truth of the Catholic Faith to others. Here is a link to an article which discusses that the Pope was not going to participate in the prayers offered by leaders from other religions. [url:wyvfgkck]http://news.yahoo.com/pope-wont-part-common-prayers-112812125.html[/url:wyvfgkck] A bit of a different spin than that of FishEaters, and others.

Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict have been very clear that while other religions do contain some truth that the fullness of the truth is held by the Catholic Church, and that the unity of all Christians with the Successor of Peter is should be our ultimate goal. Unless the Pope came out and said, “All religions are equal, and you can believe whatever you want to.” We would do better to pray for the Pope that God would make him a good example and leader of the Church on earth, rather than try to second guess him as some of these websites and groups do. A good prayer for the Pope is…

[quote:wyvfgkck]Lord, source of eternal life and truth,
give to Your shepherd, the Pope,
a spirit of courage and right judgement,
a spirit of knowledge and love.

By governing with fidelity those entrusted to his care may he,
as successor to the apostle Peter and vicar of Christ,
build Your church into a sacrament of unity,
love, and peace for all the world.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God,
forever and ever.