Vatican City, (VIS) - "God, the unknown" is to be the theme of the "Atrium of St. Francis", an initiative organised by the Pontifical Council for Culture, the Holy Convent of Assisi and the "Oicos Riflessioni" Association. A press conference presenting the event was held this morning in the Holy See Press Office.
The meeting is due to take place in the Italian town of Assisi on 5 and 6 October and is part of the "Courtyard of the Gentiles" project, a structure for permanent dialogue between believers and non believers created by the Pontifical Council for Culture under the presidency of Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi. The Courtyard of the Gentiles has already organised events in several European capitals.
The Assisi meeting, in which more than forty speakers are due to participate, will be opened by Giorgio Napolitano, president of the Republic of Italy. The programme, which involves nine meetings in nine "atria" at different locations around the city of St. Francis, will cover the following themes: "Work, business and responsibility", "Contemplation and meditation", "Inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue for peace", "Young people, between faith and nihilism", "The cry of the earth", "Art and faith", "The cry of the poor, the world economic crisis and sustainable development". Among the participants will be figures from the worlds of culture, science, art and economics, such as film-maker Ermanno Olmi, architect Massimiliano Fuksas, and trade union leader Susanna Camusso.
"In a second edition of his letter to the faithful St. Francis addressed himself to 'all Christians, religious, clergy and laity, to men and women, to all inhabitants of the world entire'", notes Fr. Giuseppe Piemontese, custodian of the Holy Convent of Assisi. "We are opening the 'Atrium of St. Francis' with great humility, and under the sign of that evangelical openness to others. Our hope is that the Courtyard of the Gentiles, in its call at Assisi, will be able to demonstrate the 'pure heart' and 'pure mind' to which St. Francis called us".