The meeting will be opened officially in Milan on Sept. 5 by Cardinals Dionigi Tettamanzi, archbishop of Milan, and Camillo Ruini, the Pope’s vicar for Rome and president of the Italian episcopal conference.
The Sant’Egidio Community, a Rome-based lay Catholic group, has chosen Milan for a second time for its annual meeting. It touts the meeting as “the most significant event among the leaders of the great religions and the representatives of culture and society.”
The three-day meeting will include 36 round-table discussions which will give voice to the 350 participants who will focus on topics such as democracy; AIDS; dialogue between civilizations; bioethics; and the struggle against poverty.
More than 60 countries will be represented at the event. Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger of Jerusalem and Ibrahim Ezzedine, president of the United Arab Emirates, are expected to attend.
Sant’Egidio announced that Cardinal Walter Kasper is among the dozen cardinals and patriarchs who will present at the meeting.