Pope Marks 20 Years of Recognition of Communion and Liberation

Movement´s Charism: Christianity as an Encounter, Not Just a Doctrine

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 12, 2002 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II celebrated the 20 years since the Communion and Liberation movement received pontifical recognition, by sending a letter to its founder, Monsignor Luigi Giussani, which was published by the Vatican today.

The origins of the ecclesial movement hark back to 1954. It began in Milan and quickly spread throughout Italy. Today it is active in some 70 countries worldwide; 45,000 people are inspired by its spirituality.

Communion and Liberation defines itself as a movement because it is not established as a new organization or structure (there are no registration forms), and is not focused on any specific aspect or practice of the life of faith.

It has a charism that Monsignor Giussani explains in the official page (http://www.comunione-liberazione.org), which includes two essential elements: “First of all, the announcement that God became man, the companion in history on our human path.”

“Second, the affirmation that Jesus of Nazareth is present in a sign of harmony, of communion, of community, of unity: the Church, his mysterious body,” the monsignor adds.

In his message, John Paul II recalls how the founder came to this insight by listening “to the needs of the man of today.”

“Man never stops seeking: He continues to seek when he is affected by the drama of violence, of loneliness and of insignificance, and when he lives in serenity and joy,” the Pope states. “The only answer that can satisfy him, placating this quest, comes from the encounter with the One who is source of his being and his action.”

Communion and Liberation does not “indicate a way, but the way to arrive at the solution of this existential drama,” he adds. This way is Christ, and the “discovery of this way takes place normally thanks to the mediation of other human beings,” John Paul II explains.

Therefore, believers “are called to become the echo of the event of Christ, so that they themselves become an ´event,´” the Pope continues. Hence, “rather than being a collection of doctrines or a rule for salvation, Christianity is the ´event´ of an ´encounter.´”

A noted follower of Communion and Liberation is Archbishop Angelo Scola, recently appointed patriarch of Venice.

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