Founder of Communion and Liberation Thanks Pope for Support

Closes 25th Meeting of the Friendship of Peoples

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RIMINI, Italy, AUG. 30, 2004 ( Msgr. Luigi Giussani, founder of Communion and Liberation, expressed his heartfelt gratitude to John Paul II for his message and show of support.

Reflecting on the meeting’s theme, John Paul II sent the participants a message in which he stressed that «humility before the grandeur and mystery of creation can save man from the harmful consequences of his own arrogance» when he «erects himself as the arbiter of good and evil» in the name of progress.

The 25th Meeting for Friendship Among Peoples had as its theme «Our progress does not consist in presuming that we have arrived, but in tending continually towards the goal.»

Monsignor Giussani said that the Holy Father’s message “tells us, in an surprising and exemplary manner, the toil entailed in the work of educating the people of God as a work of love for man, and as the concern of a father for his only son.”

«A father ready to intervene in every social manifestation in which indifference can lead a dangerous neglect in its inevitable contrasts, more or less turbulent, and to remember that in the evolution of time, in each moment, the plan of another is respected: as that of a father and a mother toward a son,» he added in his final greeting, read by Emilia Guarnieri, president of the Rimini meeting association.

«Your Holiness, thank you because the emotion you evoke tells every man of reflection that it is not useless to aspire and to tend to a presence,» the founder said to the Pope.

«Each one of us has the intention at this moment to transform ourselves into attractive elements, creators of present realities, with a will to change,» Msgr. Giussani continued, addressing an audience of 12,000 who were able to hear him thanks to an audio connection.

«I do not know if all the effort to participate in the dialogue of these days, has just been a memorable experience or fostered an intensified attitude to life, an intense love of the mystery of man, and of God’s plan for him,» he continued.

«I leave you with these words as the last that we can express at this time: intense enthusiasm, intense affection for what man can do, can be, and can focus on in his history. Thanks to all, and we’ll see one another next year,» he concluded.

According to the organizers, over 700,000 people attended the 25th meeting which took place the week of Aug. 22-28, 2004, exceeding last year’s number. More than 700 journalists of national and international media were accredited to cover the event.

The program included 135 meetings, 19 exhibitions, 16 shows and 7 sports events, made possible thanks to the work of 2,800 volunteers from Italy, Argentina, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Russia, the United States, Spain and other countries, and an additional 850 who prepared the meeting in the preceding days.

«Freedom Is the Greatest Good that the Heavens Have Given Men» is the theme announced for the 26th Meeting for Friendship Among Peoples scheduled for Aug. 21-27, 2005. The words are taken from “Don Quixote de la Mancha” by Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616).

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