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Rome scotches Fatima multifaith rumours

A top Vatican official has quashed rumours that the world-famous Fatima shrine is to be turned into a multi-faith pilgrim centre.

The Universe in London reports that devotees of the revered Portuguese shrine were shocked and dismayed this month at the reports, which devotees said would be a "total abandonment" of what the shrine stands for.

But Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, President of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue which has responsibility for such matters, told The Universe that the fears were unfounded and he reassured devotees that Fatima would definitely remain a place of prayer centred on Our Lady.

"There is no question of the Fatima sanctuary becoming an inter-faith pilgrimage centre," said the English-born archbishop. "This is a place of prayer centred on Our Lady, and everyone is welcome."

Devotees worldwide, including a number of Universe readers, were alerted following the staging of an annual interfaith congress held at Fatima's Paul VI Pastoral Centre. Reports triggered a wave of alarm after being misconstrued in national newspapers in Portugal, where many Catholics were outraged.

Rome quashes Fatima report (The Universe 17/11/03)

Fátima to become interfaith shrine ( News 1/11/03)
Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue
The Fatima Network: Our Lady of Fatima Online | Fatima to Become Interfaith Shrine? An Account From One Who Was There

21 Nov 2003