Pope Francis, Italian bishop join interfaith coronavirus project that calls borders ‘irrelevant’
June 12, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Pope Francis and Italian Bishop Domenico Sorrentino have taken part in an interreligious video project which describes borders as “more and more irrelevant” and calls on all people to come together in response to the coronavirus.
The “Coronaspection” project, produced by The Elijah Interfaith Institute, features more than 30 different religious leaders from various faiths and stresses that “everything is interconnected.”
The trailer for the project opens with a clip from Pope Francis’ March “Ubi et Orbi” speech, and is followed by a series of video clips of leaders of various faith communities reflecting on the coronavirus crisis.
The Elijah Interfaith Institute, with which Pope Francis has worked before on interfaith projects, says that the pontiff “sent a message of support and contribution for the ‘coronaspection’ project, based on his ongoing daily teaching.” Their website also includes a link to a video featuring a collection of his recent reflections on the coronavirus.
“Corona has given this little idea for us to stop and think. Corona is saying: ‘all of humanity is one,’” a collection of religious leaders say.
“This is an opportunity to understand our interconnection. Brotherhood of humanity is a scientific fact,” the video continues.
The video also features Yahya Cholil Staquf, secretary general of one of the world’s largest Muslim organizations, the Nahdlatul Ulama Supreme Council in Indonesia, saying that “physical and social quarters are becoming more and more irrelevant.”
At another moment in the video one of the religious leaders can be heard saying “everything is interconnected.”
Bishop Domenico Sorrentino of Assisi in Italy has also contributed to the “Coronaspection” project, recording an hour-long interview with The Elijah Interfaith Institute’s Executive Director Rabbi Alon Goshen-Gottstein.
The Elijah Interfaith Institute receives funding from a variety of international groups, including the U.N. agency Unesco and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. They say that their mission is to “foster unity in diversity, creating a harmonious world.” Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI also took part in interreligious events organized by The Elijah Interfaith Institute. Cardinal Christoph Schönborn is on the institute’s board of Christian leaders.
Catholic prelates such as Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, Cardinal Raymond Burke, and Bishop Athanasius Schneider have criticized the Pope’s approach to interreligious affairs, which has included the Vatican pushing for a global pact, that will, in the words of Pope Francis, “create a new humanism,” and the Abu Dhabi statement which claims that the “pluralism and the diversity of religions” is “willed by God.”