The Dalai Lama “was not invited” to the Assisi meeting

The Dalai Lama “was not invited” to the Assisi meeting

The personal secretary of the leader of Tibetan Buddhism confirmed this to AsiaNews. Pope Francis is also not scheduled to meet a representative of Hinduism. Instead meetings are planned with the Ecumenical Patriarch, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch, a representative of the Muslim world and one of the Jewish world.

[Upcoming interfaith meeting at Assisi not so interfaith: No representation from Hindu, Animist, Humanist and some other religious (or irreligious) groups]


Rome (AsiaNews) – The Dalai Lama “does not plan to visit Assisi for the ‘Thirst for peace’ meeting, nor has he received any invitation to the event,” Tenzin Taklha, personal secretary of the Buddhist leader, told AsiaNews.

Currently, Tenzin Gyatso is in Belgium on a European lecture tour that will also take him to Lithuania, Switzerland and France. He is set to return to Dharamsala on 3 October. On the 20th of the same month, he will be in Milan for a series of religious conferences.

With the help of the Community of Sant’Egidio, the Assisi meeting seeks to renew the spirit of the 1986 initiative launched by John Paul II. At that time, the leaders of all religions prayed together, each in his own way, elevating a prayer for peace in the world. Right after the personal prayer, the various leaders gathered in front of the Sacred Convent for a moment of joint prayer for peace, the Dalai Lama next to John Paul II.

Thirty years later, the Community’s press office told AsiaNews “more than 400 religious leaders will be present in the Italian town. The panel discussion will address virtually every area of ​​the relationship between faith, society and politics.”

Pope Francis will also attend the event on 20 September and meet representatives of world religions. According to the schedule released by the Vatican Press Office on 1 September, the pontiff is set to meet the Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, a (not yet specified) representative of the Islamic world and a (also not yet specified) representative of world Jewry, and a meeting with Aphrem II, the Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch.

In addition to the leader of Tibetan Buddhism, which has about 15 million members in Tibet and the diaspora, no meeting is scheduled with a representative of Hinduism, which has about 1 billion members, mostly in the Indian subcontinent.

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2 comments on “The Dalai Lama “was not invited” to the Assisi meeting

  1. Given the ecumenical nature of the event, why would they not invite the Dalai Lama? Were Joel Osteen or Franklin Graham invited? Leonardo DiCaprio? Bono? The Edge? Bob Dylan?

    • Concerning the Dalai Lama: My guess is it’s in keeping sync with the Vatican’s Fernostpolitik (Far East policy) of appeasing the ChiComs, who do not like him because of his position as temporal ruler of Tibet and advocate of the rights of Tibetans. After a failed 1959 uprising against the ChiComs, he fled into India for his own safety and since then has been in exile.

      Concerning the non-invitation of others (including those listed above), I can find no information why and will not offer any speculation. There will be a Japanese Buddhist representative. In keeping with previous Assisi meetings, the Christian representatives will gather in various places in the lower part of the Basilica for “ecumenical prayer”, the non-Christian ones will go to other places to “worship in their own manner” (such as another statue of Buddha on a tabernacle?), and afterwards all will meet in the Square for an “interfaith gathering”.

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