According to Cardinal Ravasi, the decision to invite four prominent atheists to Assisi for the prayer meeting later this month came direct from Pope Benedict XVI. Andrea Tornielli has the story.
Of course, if the atheists were invited to speak on a Catholic college campus in the U.S., I suspect the Cardinal Newman Society would be up in arms. Evidently, the Holy Father understands what the CNS does not, namely, that it is appropriate, even urgent, for Catholics to engage the culture not just shake our fists at it.
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