.- Pope Benedict XVI will attend a meeting with representatives of the Jewish, Muslim and Christian communities of different denominations during his visit to Brazil in May, an official has revealed.
The event was confirmed to local reporters by Bishop Pedro Luiz Stringhini, Auxiliary of Sao Paulo and Coordinator of the Executive Secretariat that is preparing the Pontiff’s visit. The meeting will take place on May 10 at the Monastery of Sao Bento in the city of Sao Paulo, where the Pope will stay during his visit to the country.
According to Bishop Stringhini, the meeting was suggested to the Vatican by the Archdiocese of Sao Paulo and by the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil. The Pope will meet with religious leaders after a scheduled audience with Brazil’s president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
The bishop explained that that the meeting would not be an audience and that there are no plans to discuss common problems facing the different religious nor will any speeches be given. “It will be a chance for the Pope to greet these individuals, a meeting of an almost protocolar nature, in order to show the need for religions to dialogue in the building of peace,” he stressed.