What It Takes to Be Happy

Interview With Giorgio Vittadini on Rimini Meeting

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

RIMINI, Italy, SEPT. 1, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Last week’s «Meeting for Friendship Among Peoples» drew 700,000 people to this coastal city to hear, among other things, how they need to live with the conscious desire for happiness.

Organized by the Communion and Liberation ecclesial movement, the topic of the event was an expression taken from Psalm 33: «What man is there who desires life, and covets many days, that he may enjoy good?»

In this interview with ZENIT, Giorgio Vittadini, president of the Company of Works, an association founded by Communion and Liberation-trained members, evaluates the weeklong meeting which attracted politicians, businesspeople, scientists, doctors, artists, writers and missionaries.

Q: Why must man be happy?

Vittadini: The real problem of life is that man wants happiness and seeks answers. The question of happiness is always present in man’s interior. A person must be directed to an ideal. For example, the Christian experience has been an authentic answer in European history, yet now it is denied.

Q: What do you mean?

Vittadini: The European Constitution we are about to sign has the value of wet paper, namely, none at all. It is a mediocre treaty in which the absence of references to the Christian roots is just one indication. It does not mention the family, freedom of association, subsidiarity — even though it is 10 times longer than the American Constitution.

Q: Must one be a believer to be happy?

Vittadini: No! To be happy one must live conscious of the desire for happiness. What does it mean to be happy? It is to want sense, meaning. Happiness cannot be quantified; as it forms part of the mystery, it is an experience, it forms part of an approximation to reality.

Of course, without faith some things of life — such as sin, suffering and death — remain without an ultimate answer. But I am not expressing the presumption of a believer; it is simply a gift that the Lord gives us.

Q: What has the Meeting for Friendship tried to transmit to the world?

Vittadini: The meeting wants to tell the world that one can be involved with everything — from prayer to politics — within the experience of the unity of the person and the unity of life.

While everyone divides the private from the public — art from economics, faith from science — the meeting tells us that the mystery is present and allows itself to be found as 2,000 years ago, and that they can be live together.

Q: Would you like to share your opinion on some current issues? Such as globalization: yes or no?

Vittadini: Although I value the desire for truth that lies in the anti-globalization movement, I think it is not the real answer because lately it is more of an ideological answer. It posits a view of society that does not exist.

«The real name of peace is development.» This idea of Paul VI represents much more than all the anti-globalization thinking, also vis-à-vis the Third World.

Q: And plant biotechnology?

Vittadini: The answer was given by [Communion and Liberation founder] Don Giussani a couple of years ago: Whatever does not go against man is all right.

Q: Development and poor countries?

Vittadini: Development will take place to the degree that there is collaboration with the First World. Development means something which substantially is not multinational nor state socialism, something similar to what Italy is, with special attention to education, human capital and research.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation